BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three men pleaded guilty to federal charges for their roles in a drug distribution conspiracy that operated in Cecil County, Maryland.

Oscar Pilarte-Rivera, 36, Elvin Solano-Pena, 37, and Herme Soriano, 21, all pleaded guilty.

According to their plea agreements, beginning in at least June 2017 and through September 26, 2018, Solano-Pena, and Soriano conspired with others to distribute heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and crack cocaine to drug users living primarily in Cecil County.

Witnesses advised law enforcement that they purchased narcotics from the conspirators by calling a designated phone number.

Solano-Pena was the primary user and possessor of the dispatch phone. Drug users would call the number and place an order for drugs. Solano-Pena or another conspirator would then arrange a meeting place.  Solano-Pena, Soriano, or a co-conspirator would arrive at the meeting location and provide the drugs in exchange for money.

On September 5, 2018, Soriano and a co-conspirator were arrested.

Federal investigators later obtained a search warrant for a co-conspirator’s residence in Aberdeen that was executed on September 26, 2018, and recovered over 160 grams of heroin, a mixture of heroin and fentanyl and crack cocaine packaged for sale.

Before the execution of the warrant, investigators observed Pilarte-Rivera driving a black Honda Civic in front of the leasing office.

Investigators proceeded to the leasing office in an attempt to identify those in the vehicle and encountered Pilarte-Rivera and Solano-Pena.

According to the plea agreements, both men knew there were drugs inside the apartment.

Solano-Pena pled guilty to a narcotics charge carrying a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.

Soriano pled guilty to distribution of heroin and cocaine and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Both defendants also pled guilty to immigration crimes related to their illegal status in the United States.

Pilarte-Rivera pled guilty to using a communication facility to facilitate drug trafficking, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for Solano-Pena and Soriano for October.


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