HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on November 4, 2020, Christopher Texidor, age 33, William Kuduk, age 34, Justin Laboy, age 33, Jose Laboy, age 36, and Jonathan Cobaugh, age 23, all from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Jamie Valenzuela, age 29, of Santa Ana, California, were indicted by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking, violence, and firearms charges. The case was unsealed following the arrests of Texido, Kuduk, Justin and Jose Laboy, and Cobaugh on November 5, 2020 and Valenzuela on November 25, 2020.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that between October 2018 until May 2020, the defendants operated a marijuana smuggling operation out of Fastlane Auto Sales located on Paxton Street in Harrisburg. It is alleged that defendants mailed hundreds of parcels full of marijuana from California to Harrisburg and mailed cash back to California. The indictment also alleges that defendants used a sophisticated system of GPS tracking devices, which they placed in their parcels, to keep track of their drugs and money. Through this the scheme, it’s alleged that defendants brought thousands of pounds of marijuana to the Harrisburg area worth millions of dollars.
The indictment further alleges that defendants used guns, robbery, and kidnapping as tools to keep their criminal operation running. The defendants raided a home in Harrisburg of a person suspected of interfering with their drug trafficking activities; shot into an occupied home in Susquehanna Township; attempted to restrain and then robbed a victim of a motor vehicle in Highspire; and placed a tracking device on a vehicle to surveil a person believed to be interfering with their drug trafficking activities.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Consiglio is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses are life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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