Former Laredo business owner convicted in large marijuana case
LAREDO, TX — A federal jury has returned a guilty verdict against Marco Antonio Marchan, 45, for engaging in a conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
During trial, evidence was presented that Marchan was a former Laredo resident who had several businesses but moved to the Dallas area in 2008, where he operated a business known as Bumper World. According to testimony, upon moving there, he began coordinating to have Los Zetas supply him with multi-ton quantities of marijuana in the Laredo area for ultimate delivery to him in the Dallas area.
A former co-conspirator testified that Marchan had previously been kidnapped by the Zetas for a drug debt and decided to move his drug trafficking operation to the Dallas area. From 2008 to 2009, Marchan had been supplied with at least seven marijuana loads. The investigation revealed Marchan’s co-conspirators had sent him 5,500 pounds to the Dallas area on Nov. 30, 2009, and then an additional load of 1,132 kilograms three days later.
Between Nov. 24, 2009, through Dec. 2, 2009, Marchan recruited a person to secure a warehouse and truck driver who could deliver 1,300 kilograms of marijuana from Laredo to Dallas. That person reported the incident to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and an undercover operation was launched during which time agents coordinated to receive the marijuana.
Marchan ordered the drugs to be delivered to a certain address on Dan Morton Street in Dallas. Marchan’s business trucks were seen throughout the area conducting counter surveillance while the transaction was underway. Marchan’s people also followed a white van to a second location where the marijuana was off-loaded from the undercover tractor trailer to the van. The white van then transported the marijuana to a third location, a residence on Lynnacre in Dallas. There, a search warrant was executed which resulted in the discovery of the 1,132 kilograms of marijuana in the van. An additional 2,877 kilograms of marijuana was also found inside the residence which was believed to be the load sent to Marchan on Nov. 30, 2009.
The total weight of marijuana seized was 4009 kilograms with a value of more than $2.5 million.
The jury deliberated for less than an hour in returning the guilty verdict.
Marchan will remain in custody pending sentencing, which will be set at a later date before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo.
The case was investigated by DEA with the assistance of local Dallas law enforcement authorities and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mary Lou Castillo and Sanjeev Bhaskar.