San Diego, CA–A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed in San Diego against alleged Guatemalan drug kingpin Eugenio Dario Molina-Lopez, aka “Don Dario,” who is accused of being a leader of a transnational criminal organization known as Los Huistas.
Los Huistas are primarily based in the Huehuetenango region of Northwest Guatemala that borders Mexico. This marks the latest indictment unsealed as part of Operation Guerrilla Unit, a multi-year investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego that targets high-level Guatemalan drug traffickers and their suppliers.
The indictment returned on January 29, 2019, charges 57-year-old Molina-Lopez with conspiracy to distribute cocaine intended for unlawful importation and conspiracy to distribute cocaine onboard a vessel. Molina-Lopez remains a fugitive.
The U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Molina-Lopez. The award is offered under the U.S. Department of State’s Narcotics Rewards Program (NRP). More than 75 transnational criminals and major narcotics traffickers have been brought to justice under the NRP and the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program since 1986. The Department has paid more than $135 million in rewards to date.
The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs manages the NRP in close coordination with Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other U.S. government agencies.
Operation Guerrilla Unit targets high-level cocaine traffickers operating in northwest Guatemala and their suppliers. This investigation has offered one of the most comprehensive views to date of the inner workings of cocaine trafficking in Guatemala. High-level cocaine traffickers were targeted in a massive probe involving multiple countries, multiple law enforcement agencies around the United States, and a number of federal districts.
“This extraordinary case is one of this district’s most significant, comprehensive, and large-scale drug trafficking prosecutions,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We are working tirelessly to dismantle cartels by taking down the leaders, one by one.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team, Homeland Security Investigations for spearheading this multi-year investigation, and the many law enforcement agencies that have worked so diligently on this case.
“HSI remains committed to combating the flow of dangerous drugs into the U.S. This includes disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations and their supply networks beyond our borders. The indictment of Molina, the leader of Los Huistas, demonstrates HSI’s efforts to target these criminal organizations at their highest levels,” said Chad Plantz, Special Agent in Charge for HSI San Diego.
The operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation.