8 sentenced in Carolinas cocaine ring

Saloman Maldonado
Saloman Maldonado U.S. Attorney’s Office

Eight members of a cocaine ring that prosecutors said funneled millions of dollars in drug proceeds to Mexico were sentenced to prison this week in federal court in Statesville.

Prosecutors said the ring operated from 2010 until late 2014. Members trafficked the drug to the Carolinas and elsewhere.

Law enforcement officers seized $750,000, six vehicles and five properties during their investigation into the ring, prosecutors said.

The men sentenced this week were:

▪  David Maldonado-Rendon, 33, of Mexico, 17 years and five months.

▪  Pedro Maldonado-Sanchez, 24, of Mexico, seven years and three months.

▪  Larry Woodley, 26, of Landon, S.C., five years and six months.

▪  Juan Pablo Diaz-Herrera, 26, of Troutman, four years and nine months.

▪  Germaine Woodley, 42, of Waxhaw, four years. Woodley also must forfeit $1.2 million in drug proceeds.

▪  Miguel Ibarra-Espinoza, 35, of Mexico, three years and 10 months.

▪  Alberto Pedraza, 56, of Farmville,three years and 10 months.

▪  Brian Maldonado-Reyes, 22, of Madera, Calif., eight months.

Three others – Fortino Maldonado-Guillen, James Davis and drug ring co-leader Maria Abernethy (aka Rosy Maldonado) – are scheduled for sentencing June 8.

Two others indicted in the case remain fugitives: Saloman Maldonado and Saul Maldonado-Guillen (aka Valeria Maldonado-Guillen).

“This highly active drug ring was responsible for trafficking hundreds of kilos of cocaine to the area,” U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said in announcing the sentences. “I want to thank the multiple law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and other states for their hard work over the course of this investigation.

“Working with our law enforcement partners, we effectively traced and dismantled this poisonous pipeline of cocaine that has undoubtedly destroyed many lives and has affected the families of those addicted to the drug,” Rose said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak