Harrisonburg, VIRGINIA – Judith Wright, a Winchester woman who trafficked cocaine for drug cartel members, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg to 84 months of federal incarceration, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.
“This defendant partnered with members and associates of the Mexican drug cartel known as CJNG, one of the most violent criminal organizations in the world, to sell cocaine in the Northern Shenandoah Valley,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated. “As this case and other recent indictments indicate, we are committed to dismantling CJNG’s distribution networks in Western Virginia and stanching the flow of these deadly drugs.”
In February 2019, a jury convicted Wright, 38, of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Evidence at trial established that Wright transported large shipments of cocaine into Virginia from California, and funneled money through her bank account, all at the direction of individuals associated with the Mexican Drug Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).
CJNG is one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico and the Department of Justice considers it to be one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world, responsible for trafficking many tons of cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl-laced heroin into the United States, as well as for violence and significant loss of life in Mexico.
Wright drove a vehicle with a hidden compartment designed to conceal significant amounts of cocaine. Co-conspirator Blas Rodriguez-Avila, an associate of CJNG, paid Wright approximately $2,000 each time she made a trafficking trip from California to Virginia.
In addition, Wright allowed Rodriguez-Avila and other co-conspirators, including Oliva Parsons, to use Wright’s apartment to store and distribute cocaine. Wright allowed others to use a lockbox in her bedroom to conceal the drugs and to use Wright’s scales to weigh out the cocaine for customers.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force (NWVRDGTF), the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Erin M. Kulpa prosecuted the case for the United States.
This investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program. The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.
The NWVRDGTF uses the combined efforts of local, state, and federal agencies to actively pursue those groups or individuals who manufacture, distribute, or sell illegal narcotics. The NWVRDGTF is comprised of the Virginia State Police, the Winchester Police Department, the Front Royal Police Department, the Strasburg Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the Page County Sheriff’s Office, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.