Harrisburg drug trafficker convicted of massive marijuana-mail scheme, hiring gunmen

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Harrisburg man was convicted of trafficking over 2,200 pounds of marijuana and hiring gunmen to protect his activities, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, between 2018 and 2020, Christopher Texidor, 36, and codefendants operated a marijuana smuggling operation out of a used car lot on Paxton Street in Harrisburg.

The drugs were arraigned to be mailed in hundreds of packages from California in exchange for cash sent through the mail. GPS tracking devices were used on the packages to follow the drugs and money going through the mail.

Millions of dollars worth of marijuana were brought to the Harrisburg area through this scheme and the operation hired gunmen to prevent theft in the system.

During one instance, the jury was told during trial, guns, robbery, and kidnapping were used as tools to keep the operation running. In 2019, a thief began stealing the packages and a gunman went after the suspect for months, including shooting up a truck, a Susquehanna Township home, and a Steelton home.

The thief was ultimately robbed at gunpoint by the group in February 2020 in Highspire.

The jury convicted Texidor of conspiracy to traffic more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to use a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, use of a means in interstate communication to commit a crime of violence, and drug trafficking.

Texidor’s codefendants, William Kuduk, Jonathan Cobaugh, Justin Laboy, Jose Laboy, and Julio Arellano have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.  Codefendant Jamie Valenzuela pleaded guilty to being the marijuana source from California. He was sentenced to 57 months’ imprisonment.

The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is life imprisonment, as well as a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael A. Consiglio and Scott Ford prosecuted the case.

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