A man who helped move tons of pot to the United States in an alleged conspiracy between a group of Mennonites and the Juarez drug cartel pleaded guilty Wednesday to drug conspiracy charges.
Abraham Friesen-Remple faces a Dec. 1 sentencing. According to his plea agreement he will serve a 15-month prison term.
By the time of his sentencing, Friesen-Remple will have already served his sentence.
According to testimony at a detention hearing for Friesen-Remple, the ring first put the marijuana in the gas tanks of cars and later concealed it inside large pieces of farm equipment.
Originally, vehicles crossed the border and drove to Colorado Springs, where the marijuana was off-loaded at an auto-body repair shop.
Drivers than took the weed to different parts of the country. When the person who ran the body shop was arrested, the organization moved their U.S. trafficking hub from Colorado to North Carolina, where trucks carrying farm equipment continued to distribute the marijuana across the country.
The indictment in 2013 followed a 39-month investigation involving court-ordered wire taps of 13 cellular phone in which 32,200 calls were recorded in Spanish and “low German dialect used by Mennonites. The U.S. Attorney’s office charged 21 people.
Mennonites are members of a church formed in the 16th century.
Kirk Mitchell: 303-954-1206, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/kirkmitchell,denverpost.com/coldcases