By a Biometrica staffer
Cristina Godinez of San Antonio admitted to her role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, after an investigation conducted by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and several other federal agencies.
Godinez, 36, pleaded guilty by videoconference before to an information charging her with one count of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. A co-defendant in the case – 43-year-old Alba Lilia Diaz of Chicago – also pleaded guilty to similar charges, the ICE said in a statement.
On July 22 2019, Diaz travelled to New Jersey to conduct a heroin sale, according to documents filed in this case and statements made in court. She provided a sample of heroin and agreed to deliver 15 kilograms several days later. On July 25 2019, Diaz and Godinez drove to New Jersey from Chicago with the heroin in their vehicle. When they arrived in New Jersey, Godinez negotiated the sale while Diaz waited with the drugs in a hotel room. Once a price was agreed on, Diaz brought the heroin to the buyer’s car. Special agents from HSI arrested the defendants and seized the drugs.
The conspiracy counts to which the defendants pleaded guilty carry a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a fine of $10 million, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the offense. Sentencing for Godinez is scheduled for January 19 2021, and on November 20 this year for Diaz.
Along with HSI, the investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Jersey State Police, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Gloucester County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.