A 38-year-old Mexican citizen living in Oregon pleaded guilty Wednesday to his involvement in a conspiracy to ship more than 500 grams of cocaine to be distributed in the Chicago area in 2013.
Eitel Mendoza initially entered a plea of not guilty for the crimes but later agreed to plead guilty to one count of the indictment.
The prosecution said Mendoza and his partner, Roberto Cortez, conspired to distribute cocaine using UPS from Mendoza’s residence in Oregon to Cortez in Bellewood, Illinois.
According to court records, Mendoza originally sent Cortez two shipments, the first containing one kilogram of cocaine and the second containing two kilograms.
Mendoza told Cortez in phone conversations recorded by the government that he could get him 40–50 kilograms of cocaine; but that promise changed after Cortez’s roommate stole the second package, according to the federal indictment.
Mendoa then told Cortez he could get him around 25 kilograms.
Mendoza, who appeared in court on Wednesday is currently serving a prison sentence in California, which expires on Oct. 28. Mendoza will remain in federal custody until his sentencing Feb. 23.
Mendoza faces between five and 40 years in prison, but based on his plea agreement, federal sentencing guidelines, recommend a sentence of 60–63 months.
Upon the completion of Mendoza’s sentence his immigration status will likely be revoked, in which case he will be deported back to Mexico, U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leineweber said.