Federal jury in Norfolk convicts man tied to international drug trafficking operation


Juan Gabriel Rodriguez-Preciado (Photo courtesy: U.S. Attorney’s Office)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A federal jury in Norfolk convicted a Kennewick, Washington man for his role in an international drug trafficking operation.

The jury found 43-year-old Juan Gabriel Rodriguez-Preciado guilty on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and distribution of cocaine.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Rodriguez-Preciado facilitated the trafficking of kilogram quantities of cocaine between a Mexican cartel and a regional drug trafficking organization (DTO) run by Adian Barth, 35, of Chesterfield, Virginia.

In July and August 2019, the pair used Barth’s home to distribute approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine every other week to members of Barth’s DTO. In return, Rodriguez-Preciado collected approximately $30,000 per kilogram, which he funneled back to Mexico.

“The jury’s verdict holds the defendant accountable for dangerously facilitating the distribution of significant quantities of cocaine between an international drug cartel and a regional drug trafficking organization,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Rodriguez-Preciado faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 60 years in prison when sentenced on November 29.

On May 11, Barth was sentenced to 225 months in prison for charges of conspiracy to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of cocaine.

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