Federal Jury Convicts Drug Trafficker, Cristian Cabrera-Rivas
The Defendant Arranged the Sale of Two Kilograms of Methamphetamine
CHARLOTTE, N.C (STL.News) A Charlotte federal jury has convicted Cristian Cabrera-Rivas, 39, of Charlotte, N.C, of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. presided over the two-day trial, which ended yesterday.
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, Cabrera-Rivas and two other individuals, Marco Ramos-Garcia and Silvia Hernandez-Iturralde, were involved in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine in and around Gaston County. Trial evidence established that in early January 2019, Cabrera-Rivas arranged to sell two kilograms of methamphetamine for $24,000. According to trial evidence, Cabrera-Rivas directed Ramos-Garcia to transport the methamphetamine from Texas to Gastonia, N.C., for the sale. On January 7, 2019, Cabrera-Rivas and Ramos-Garcia met at a restaurant in Gastonia and then drove separately to the sale location. At that location, law enforcement found Ramos-Garcia and Hernandez-Iturralde in a van, along with two kilograms of methamphetamine, a firearm, and cocaine. Law enforcement arrested Cabrera-Rivas on scene following a brief foot chase.
Cabrera-Rivas is currently in federal custody. At sentencing, he faces 10 years to life in prison for each offense . A sentencing date for Cabrera-Rivas has not been set. Ramos-Garcia and Hernandez-Iturralde have been already sentenced, after pleading guilty to federal drug offenses. Ramos-Garcia was sentenced to 132 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Hernandez-Iturralde was sentenced to 37 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina, the Gaston County Police Department, the City of Gastonia Police Department, the Mt. Holly Police Department, and the Waxhaw Police Department for the investigation and coordination in this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Lindahl, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.