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Prosecutors: Baby-faced Minnesota mom is ‘CEO’ of massive meth trafficking network

May 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Prosecutors: Baby-faced Minnesota mom is ‘CEO’ of massive meth trafficking network

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A baby-faced mother of two children who appeared to be living a quiet life in Minnesota was managing one of the most prominent meth trafficking networks in the history of the state.

Macrina Perez, who has connections to both Minnesota and Mexico, was taken into custody last at the US-Mexico border after she was charged almost two years ago in a sealed indictment that depended upon several government informants whose identities remain anonymous, according to the Star-Tribune.

“Perez is as connected to Mexican cartels based on this evidence as anyone I have ever prosecuted, and it’s remarkable,” Assistant US Attorney David Steinkamp said to a judge early this month.

Perez’s arrest took place after a 2016 bust at a stash house in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where 140 pounds of meth was seized, most of it prepared for distribution. Officials also seized a freezer packed with liquid meth and meth residue in roasting pans located in the kitchen.

Before discovered her purported role in distributing meth to the Twin Cities metro area, investigators linked a local drug dealer Nichols Nelson to the stash house in 2015 or early 2016.

Macrina Perez (Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Along with another pair identified as Dolores Ludmilla Castillo and Francisco Silvestre-Martinez, Nelson allegedly managed the stash house before being indicted, which ultimately led to charges being filed against Perez. Castillo and Silvestre-Martinez have since entered guilty pleas and are serving their sentences in federal lockups.

“She wasn’t the courier,” Steinkamp told a judge of Perez’s participation in the enterprise. “She’s the CEO. She’s running it.”

A DEA agent testified last week that Perez’s travel papers were recovered inside the stash house, along with $130,000 in cash inside a safe and a revolver. Confidential informants said Perez gave the firearm to Castillo to protect himself while operating the stash house.

Perez and Castillo met in 2013 before Perez “cultivated” her to begin transporting packages of meth — some up to 10 pounds each. Castillo soon moved to managing the stash house, where up to 50-pound shipments of meth were routinely dropped off in a “very complex” network with many individuals and vehicles.

Perez’s lawyer, meanwhile, contended Wednesday that she should be released with GPS monitoring as she awaits trial, claiming she is not a flight risk.

“She is adamant about fighting this case,” attorney Gary Wolf stated.

However, Perez’s youth and her appearance mislead the “fact that she was extraordinarily involved” in leading the drug-trafficking operation, Steinkamp maintained. If released, she’d never return to court to face potentially decades in prison — and possibly life — if found guilty, he added.

“I submit that we will never see her again if you release her, even to a halfway house,” Steinkamp continued.

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