CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced David Alexander Moralez, Jr., 37, of Fresno, California, to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release for drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and distribution of methamphetamine, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal jury convicted Moralez of the charges in November 2020.
According to evidence presented at trial, other court documents, and statements made in court, Moralez, who worked at a shipping company in Fresno, conspired with other drug traffickers to ship numerous parcels, each filled with multiple pounds of methamphetamine, from Fresno to various locations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, via the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx. As trial evidence established, two pounds of the shipped methamphetamine was further distributed and subsequently seized by law enforcement in December 2018, in Newton, N.C. and Hickory, N.C. Court records also show that members of the drug conspiracy used Walmart-to-Walmart transfers and Wells Fargo bank deposits to send proceeds back to California.
Judge Bell previously sentenced to prison three of Moralez’s co-defendants for their involvement in the conspiracy:
- Chha Chham, 43, of Mooresville, N.C., was sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
- Kong Sayavong, 40, of Visalia, California, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release
- Hannah Olivia Secrest, 23, of Morganton, N.C., was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of supervised release.
The defendants were convicted as part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. According to court documents, since 2015, more than 200 individuals have been prosecuted and law enforcement has seized in excess of 200 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, $1 million in U.S. currency and other assets, and several dozens of firearms. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
In making today’s announcement Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the following agencies for their investigative efforts which led to the prosecution of this case: ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Charlotte; HSI in Greenville and Nashville; the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Charlotte Field Office; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Charlotte; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office; the Burke County Sheriff’s Office; the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office; the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office; the Davie County Sheriff’s Office; the Johnson County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office; the Rutherford County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; the Boone Police Department; the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; the Gaston County Police Department; the Gastonia Police Department; the Hickory Police Department; the Huntersville Police Department; the Longview Police Department; the Morganton Department of Public Safety; the Mooresville Police Department; the Newton Police Department; and the Troutman Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.