A North Tonawanda man found driving a car carrying 30 kilograms of cocaine pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to a conspiracy charge.
Edgar Joel Jimenez-Rodriguez, 39, faces 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine when he is sentenced Aug. 15 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
On July 19, 2018, he picked up a Mercury Mariner SUV containing 30 kilograms of cocaine after it was unloaded by a car hauler at the Fuccillo Toyota dealership on Grand Island, prosecutors said. Police who had the SUV under surveillance stopped Jimenez-Rodriguez after he left the parking lot in it, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Jimenez-Rodriguez conspired with Jose Garcia-Santiago, Katherine DeJesus-Gonzalez and others between October 2017 and July 2018, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Jimenez-Rodriguez directed Garcia-Santiago and DeJesus-Gonzalez to pick up cocaine from the New York City area. Authorities stopped their vehicle May 26, 2018, and found five kilograms of cocaine. Charges are pending against Garcia-Santiago and Dejesus-Gonzalez.