NC woman pleads guilty to cartel drug conspiracy charges


Vanessa Garcia (Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A North Carolina woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to her role in an international drug-trafficking organization.

Court documents revealed that 34-year-old Vanessa Garcia was the manager of a Mexican-based drug cartel’s North Carolina distribution point for heroin and methamphetamine.

She had an establishment based out of High Point where she kept a wholesale stock of drugs. Garcia also “recruited and supervised co-conspirators who trafficked the drugs and drug proceeds to communities outside the state, including to Hampton Roads,” according to a statement released from U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger’s office.

The court documents also said that three of her co-conspirators were arrested in Virginia Beach in possession of roughly one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of methamphetamine. The drugs were allegedly transported from Garcia’s stash house under her instruction to do so.

Garcia was arrested in Detroit last year with 700 grams of heroin in her possession. After pleading guilty and being sentenced, she was transferred to federal custody in Norfolk for the conspiracy charge.

She entered a guilty plea to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Garcia faces a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in prison when sentenced on October 26.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; and Anthony F. Zucaro, Jr., Interim Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson is prosecuting the case.

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