Leader of International Cocaine Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty | USAO-EDNC

RALEIGH, N.C. – A man from Mexico pleaded guilty today to two offenses: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine (Count One); and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and aiding and abetting (Count Two).

According to court documents and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bernave Millan-Rascon, also known as “Berna,” 40 years old, was one of two leaders of an international cocaine trafficking organization based in Mexico. Millan-Rascon directed the shipment of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Mexico into Texas, and then into other parts of the United States, including the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Agents conducted a wiretap investigation and seized 16 kilograms of cocaine, $173,100, and two firearms in Benson, North Carolina and Willow Spring, North Carolina. During the wiretap, agents recorded phone calls in which the Defendant directed the shipment of large amounts of cocaine into North Carolina.

The Defendant was extradited from Colombia, South America for prosecution in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Millan-Rascon faces no less than ten years’ imprisonment, and a maximum of life imprisonment, when he is sentenced during the court’s November 2020 term.

Three co-conspirators have previously been convicted and sentenced: Carlos Miranda Lopez (120 months’ imprisonment); Francisco Javier Rascon-Millan (12 months and 1 day imprisonment); and Malcolm Jamar Hird (120 months’ imprisonment).

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the plea. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Wilson Police Department, the Raleigh Police Department, the Rocky Mount Police Department, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:18-CR-425-BO-1.


The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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