Woman Admits Using Trucking Business to Traffic Cocaine for Mexican Cartel
McAllen, Texas – A 29-year-old Florida woman admitted in U.S. District Court she used her trucking business as a front to move cocaine for a Mexican drug cartel.
On Friday, August 2, Chelsea Nichole Madill pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics stemming from an investigation into her trucking business.
According to court documents, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials began an investigation in April 2008 into an unnamed drug trafficking organization operating in the Rio Grande Valley, the Mexican cities of Guadalajara and Merida, and other cities located in the northern part of the United States.
“Said investigation has revealed that members of the [drug trafficking organization], including [Madill], have operated and traveled through the Southern District of Texas in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities,” the complaint against Madill reads.
U.S. prosecutors alleged she used two companies, Monsters Inc. Logistics and Titanium Wholesale and Retail, to coordinate the transportation of hidden loads of cocaine from warehouses in McAllen, TX and Lombard, IL to other locations in the U.S.
Further investigation revealed Madill obtained the aforementioned McAllen warehouse in March 2018.
According to documents, DEA agents observed Madill at the McAllen warehouse instructing truck drivers to back up to certain docks to be loaded with cover loads.
One such occasion took place on May 25, 2018.
Agents observed Madill instruct a trucker which dock to be loaded at.
The tractor-trailer was then loaded and departed the warehouse.
According to investigators, the big rig was later pulled over by authorities.
The driver consented to a search of the vehicle, according to court documents.
During the search, agents discovered 22 vacuum-sealed bundles of cocaine, weighing about 28.5 kilograms.
Investigators questioned the driver and he was subsequently released.
“On the day of the seizure occurred, telephone toll analysis revealed that Madill was in contact with a Mexican telephone number utilized by the leader of the [drug trafficking organization], who agents have identified during the investigation,” the complaint reads.
Six days after the seizure, Madill flew to Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, where agents observed her meeting with the leader of the drug trafficking organization.
On or about August 8, 2018, agents searched Madill’s warehouse after being given consent.
“During the search, agents discovered multiple bills of lading for Monsters Inc. Logistics and Titanium Wholesale and Retail indicating the transportation of cover loads from the aforementioned warehouse to another warehouse in Lombard, IL,” court documents say.
Agents also discovered a vacuum sealer “commonly used” to vacuum pack drugs, as well as discarded plastic wrappings “consistent with the type and shape of wrappings used to conceal” drugs seized on May 25, 2018.
Additionally, court records show a cooperating defendant admitted that “he/she” had worked for Madill as a money courier and purchaser of cocaine.
Further, the cooperating defendant helped identify other members of the drug trafficking organization working with Madill, according to court documents.
Madill is currently free on a $50,000 unsecured bond.
Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2019.