Cristina Godinez, 36, of San Antonio, Texas, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an information charging her with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
Alba Lilia Diaz, 43, of Chicago, Illinois, a co-defendant, pleaded guilty July 28, 2020, to an information charging her with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On July 22, 2019, Diaz travelled to New Jersey to conduct a heroin sale. She provided a sample of heroin and agreed to deliver 15 kilograms of heroin 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 to, Diaz brought the heroin to the buyer’s car. Special agents from the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (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 Jan. 19, 2021. Diaz is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 20, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of HSI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Jersey State Police, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Gloucester County HIDTA Task Force for their assistance with the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew B. Johns of the Criminal Division in Camden.