Federal Judge Sentences Three Cocaine Traffickers To Prison

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr., handed down prison sentences of up to 25 years to three cocaine traffickers, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina

Judge Conrad sentenced the defendants as follows:

According to filed court documents, trial evidence and statements made in court, the defendants were involved in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy operating in and around Gaston County. Court records show that on June 29, 2020, Reynaldo Padilla and Alejandro Padilla met with Foster in Belmont, N.C., after arranging the purchase of 20 kilograms of cocaine. According to court records, at that meeting, Foster handed Reynaldo Padilla a duffel bag that contained $500,000 in cash and Alejandro Padilla drove with Reynaldo Padilla to exchange the money for the drugs. According to trial evidence, the defendants intended to make future purchases of 100 to 200 kilograms of cocaine, per transaction.

All three defendants have been in federal custody since June 2020.  They will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina; Chief Chad Hawkins of the Belmont Police Department; Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD); Chief Joseph D. Ramey of the Gaston County Police Department; Chief Travis Brittain of the City of Gastonia Police Department; Chief Don Roper of the Mt. Holly Police Department; and Michael Eiss of the Waxhaw Police Department for their respective agencies’ investigative efforts and coordination in this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.           

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