Tucsonan pleads guilty in pot-smuggling ring

2013-02-12T00:00:00Z 2013-02-12T07:53:45Z Tucsonan pleads guilty in pot-smuggling ringKim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Tucsonan Victor Manuel Verdugo, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to illegally conducting an enterprise and attempted possession of marijuana for sale.

Verdugo was arrested three years ago when a marijuana smuggling ring was broken up.

In December 2010, the Arizona Attorney General's Office secured the indictment of 18 people accused of operating a marijuana smuggling ring, including an Army National Guard member. At the time, prosecutors said a state and federal investigation found members of a cartel were using uniformed U.S. military personnel to avert police suspicion while drugs were being smuggled through the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Nogales port of entry.

Court documents say Verdugo became upset when an unidentified person did not pay him for marijuana, and detectives later saw Verdugo driving by the man's home and his children's school.

He was one of several defendants indicted on a list of drug, money laundering and stalking charges. As part of the plea deal, authorities agreed to offer Verdugo's wife a plea agreement that makes her eligible for probation.

Verdugo will be sentenced March 12 by Pima County Superior Court Judge Jane Eikleberry.


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