50-kilo coke courier Sergio Nunez pleads guilty in Maryland
Sergio Nunez, a two-time drug-distribution convict described by his attorney as a “real estate” and “construction” executive in California when, in May, he was charged for 50 kilograms of cocaine recovered from a car he was driving in Columbia, near Baltimore, pleaded guilty in Maryland federal court yesterday. He faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence, with the possibility of life imprisonment.
The prosecutor in the case, assistant U.S. attorney James Warwick, said during a May hearing in the case that Nunez had flown into Philadelphia from California prior to his Maryland arrest. After being pulled over in a May 22 traffic stop on Robert Fulton Dr. in Columbia, his vehicle was searched, turning up two duffel bags containing cocaine valued at $1.5 million wholesale and $5 million on the streets. “Nunez admitted knowledge that the duffel bags contained cocaine,” his plea agreement states, “and that he was to be compensated for transporting the cocaine to the intended recipients(s).”
The amount of cocaine involved in Nunez’ case puts it in weighty company in the modern annals of Maryland coke seizures. When Trenell Murphy in 2009 was busted for 40 kilos, the Baltimore Police Department called it the biggest coke seizure in the agency’s history – though more than 150 kilos had been seized at the Port of Baltimore in 2004 in a multi-agency investigation. Meanwhile, in 2011, nearly 400 kilos were flown in from California over a six-week period and 136 kilos arrived in a tractor-trailer that pulled into Jessup.