Rockwell man gets life in prison for drug trafficking, related charges
CHARLOTTE — Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced Freddie Andaya, a/k/a “Raymond Garcia,” 42, of Mexico to serve life plus five years in prison on drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering and gun charges, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Andaya was a resident of Rockwell.
The same investigation has led to the prosecution of others who have connections to the area, including Freddie Delgado Mercado and Lloyd Allen who were residents of Salisbury; Matthew Jones, a resident of East Spencer; and Levaric Johniken, a resident of Davie County.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas and Sheriff Kevin L. Auten of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
According to court documents and proceedings, Andaya was the leader of a drug conspiracy that operated in Mecklenburg, Iredell, Union and Rowan counties and elsewhere between 2010 and August 2011, and trafficked more than 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of cocaine, with a street value of more than $10 million.
Court records indicate that Andaya had a stash house in Concord, from which law enforcement seized 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds) of cocaine, 62 kilogram-sized wrappers, $342,000 in cash and an AK-47 assault rifle. Law enforcement also recovered from the stash house notebook ledgers, which accounted for more than $9 million in drug transactions in just a three-month period, from April to July 2011.
According to court records and today’s sentencing hearing, during the investigation, law enforcement seized a total of 11 kilograms (24 pounds) of cocaine, more than $600,000 in cash and three firearms. Also according to court records, during Andaya’s prosecution, the defendant obstructed justice by threatening a co-defendant and by producing false exculpatory documents to authorities.
Andaya has been in custody since his arrest in August 2011. He was indicted on federal charges in January 2012 and pleaded guilty in March 2012 to drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Andaya will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
This prosecution is part of an extensive Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation that has resulted in the conviction of 14 defendants for cocaine trafficking, money laundering, and firearms violations. OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and it is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
In addition to Andaya, the following prosecutions stem from the same investigation:
• Marlon Twain Scott – Sentenced to 120 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
• Brandon Antowine Barnette – Sentenced to 37 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release.
• Juan Antonio Molina-Sanchez – Sentenced to 57 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
• Bautista Medrano Andaya – Sentenced to 210 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
• Luis Alberto Castrejon – Sentenced to 180 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
• Vonita Alberto Mondragon – Sentenced to 50 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release.
• Freddie Delgado-Mercado (of Salisbury) – Sentenced to 78 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
• Levaric Samuel Johniken (of Davie County) – 168 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.
• Eric Lewis Feimster – Sentenced to 108 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
• Matthew Thomas Jones (of East Spencer) – Sentenced to 211 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
• Lloyd Avery Allen (of Salisbury) – Sentenced to 78 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
• Christopher Cortez Coleman – Sentenced to 108 months in prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release.
• Jorge Molina-Sanchez – Pending sentencing.
The investigation was led by HSI and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. U.S. Attorney Tompkins also thanked the sheriff’s offices for Cabarrus, Iredell, Union and Mecklenburg counties and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for their assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.