McALLEN, Texas – Three individuals have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import heroin and fentanyl into the United States from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Today, Liz Jomayra Diaz-Colon, 23, and Elias Herrera, 30, both admitted to their roles in the conspiracy. Their co-conspirator, Jonathan Guemez, 30, pleaded guilty Dec. 17, 2021. All are from Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2021, Diaz-Colon, Herrera and Guemez began working with Mexican drug traffickers to coordinate transportation of multiple drug loads into the United States.
On Aug. 20, 2021, Diaz-Colon attempted to pass through a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint. A K-9 alerted to her vehicle which resulted in the discovery of 4.66 kilograms of heroin concealed in the battery of her Jeep Cherokee.
The following day, Herrera attempted to enter the United States. Authorities also discovered narcotics in his vehicle – 4.76 kilograms of fentanyl in the car’s battery.
Guemez also attempted to bring drugs into the country. Law enforcement was able to seize 3.94 kilograms of heroin from his vehicle.
The investigation connected all three people. It revealed they had been communicating with each other through WhatsApp, referring to themselves as the “Suicide Squad.”
At the time of their pleas, they admitted that they had conspired together to import a total of 8.6 kilograms of heroin and 4.76 kilograms of fentanyl into the United States. The drugs have an estimated street value of approximately $1,622,880.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane will sentence Diaz-Colon July 12, along with Herrera. Guemez will be sentenced May 3. At those times, each faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life with a possible $10 million maximum fine.
All three have been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eliza Carmen Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.