Three Nashvillians Plead Guilty To Smuggling Drugs For Mexican Cartel

Image Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

Earlier this month, three people from Nashville entered a guilty plea for smuggling millions of dollars worth of drugs. The trio moved fentanyl and heroin into Texas and then on to various other U.S. cities on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel. The group was responsible for making the trip from the border with the drugs multiple times to their final stop in Tennessee before they were arrested.

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U.S. citizens Liz Jomayra Diaz-Colon (23) and Elias Herrera (30) pled guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy charges when they appeared before a U.S. District Court Judge in McAllen, Texas. In December, the third member of the group, Jonathan Guemez (30), pleaded guilty to a similar charge.

Court documents do not name the drug cartel the trio worked for but the drugs seized by investigators are valued at more than $1.6 million. It is not known how many drug loads the group moved before their arrests.

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On August 20, 2021, Diaz-Colon arrived at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge in a Jeep Cherokee, sporting a Tennessee license plate, while claiming to have traveled to Reynosa to visit a relative. Police dogs alerted U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to the possibility of drugs inside the vehicle. Using an x-ray scanner, officers then located and seized approximately ten pounds of heroin hidden inside the vehicle close to the battery.

Herrera was apprehended two days later attempting to cross into Texas through the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in a similar vehicle also with Tennessee plates. More than ten pounds of Fentanyl was discovered by CBP officers in the vehicle’s battery. Guemez was caught trying to enter the U.S. with eight pounds of heroin.

According to court documents, the trio had successfully imported controlled substances into the country before. Drugs shipped from Mexico were sent North and once at their destinations, each member of the squad would receive payment. Herrera was paid $7,000, while Diaz-Colon received approximately $20,000.

The group who referred to themselves as the “Suicide Squad” and communicated with one another through WhatsApp were arrested in August 2021 and remain in federal custody while they wait for their sentencing hearings.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

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