A member of the violent international crime gang MS-13 admitted to arranging a shipment of drugs in packaging that wouldn’t look out of place in a supermarket, according to federal officials.
Luis Calderon, 32, was in Calipatria State Prison between August and November in 2015, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But he had access to multiple "contraband" cellphones during that time, authorities said Tuesday.
Calderon used the phones to talk to an MS-13 member in New Jersey, authorities said. They plotted ways to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine in the area, officials said.
But authorities say Calderon was being recorded. He could be heard telling a conspirator that he was sending a package containing four ounces each of heroin and cocaine, and the shipment might include crystal meth. Calderon said the gang member could sell the drugs and keep the proceeds once the shipment was paid for, officials said.
Federal agents intercepted the package on Nov. 4, 2015, and found heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine hidden inside a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls.
Calderon pleaded guilty to drug charges in federal court. He faces at least 10 years up to life behind bars.
Officials say Calderon, also known as “Lagrima,” is from Los Angeles, where MS-13 originated in the 1980s. The group includes members who are Honduran, Guatemalan, Mexican and from other areas of Central and South America.
In 2015, a teen was lured to a Boston beach where he was stabbed to death by MS-13 gang members. Two members used a fake Facebook account to trick the boy into thinking he was communicating with a girl, when he was actually talking to MS-13 members who wanted to kill him, authorities said. Carlos “Chuchito” Melara pleaded guilty late last month in the killing.
Last year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions designated MS-13 as a priority or the Department of Justice's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, reported Politico.