Texas Trucker Faces Life in Prison for Trafficking Drugs
Trenton, NJ – A Texas trucker is facing life in prison after pleading guilty this week to trafficking more than 45 lbs. of heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine by big rig.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Juan Macias Prieto, 53, of El Paso, TX, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and five grams or more of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and five grams or more of methamphetamine.
According to court documents and testimony in the case, Macias Prieto conspired with others to distribute narcotics.
Through an investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigators learned that on September 17, 2019, Macias Prieto was driving a shipment of drugs in a tractor-trailer.
DEA agents approached the vehicle at a truck stop in Bloomsbury in Hunterdon County, according to the complaint.
He agreed to allow agents to search the trailer and approximately 21 kilograms (46 lbs.) of narcotics were discovered, DOJ authorities said.
Macias Prieto admitted to investigators he was aware he was transporting the drugs and he, along with co-conspirators, intended to distribute the shipment in New Jersey.
The counts to which Macias Prieto pleaded guilty each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10 million.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 26, 2020.