Texas man pleads guilty to a violation of the federal controlled substances act

Published 11:00 am Monday, July 5, 2021

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NEW ORLEANS–Gustavo Balderas, age 34, a resident of Texas, pled guilty on June 30, 2021 before United States District Court Judge Martin L. C. Feldman to a one-count superseding bill of information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

On February 9, 2018, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force learned that Rafael Molina, an upper lever narcotics trafficker, was in route to Thibodaux, Louisiana to deliver two kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride the following day.  Task Force officers established surveillance in Thibodaux and observed Molina, riding in a white pickup truck, and Balderas and an individual identified as Michael Garza, riding in a black Chrysler 300, registered to Garza, at a motel in Thibodaux.  Balderas and Garza entered the truck with Molina, and they drove from the motel.  Officers conducted a traffic stop on the truck, searched both vehicles, and located an ice chest in the Chrysler 300.  Inside the ice chest were two kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride.

Balderas faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of forty years, a fine of up to $5,000,000.00, at least four years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment and a $100 special assessment fee.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Homeland Security Investigations, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney André Jones.