Man convicted in smuggling over 1,000 KILOS of marijuana into Harrisburg by USPS mail, hiring gunmen to protect shipments

08 May 2024- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on May 6, 2024, Christopher Texidor, age 36, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was convicted following a jury trial of trafficking over 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of marijuana and hiring gunmen to protect his illegal activities. The trial, held before United States District Judge Jennifer P. Wilson, spanned six days, and the jury deliberated for approximately four hours before returning its verdict.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, between October 2018 and May 2020, Texidor and his codefendants operated a marijuana smuggling operation out of Fastlane Auto Sales, a used car lot located on Paxton Street in Harrisburg. Texidor and his codefendants arranged to have his drug source in California mail hundreds of parcels full of marijuana to Harrisburg through the U.S. Mail.  In the same way, they regularly mailed tens of thousands of dollars in cash back to the California source. Texidor and his codefendants used a sophisticated system of GPS tracking devices, which they placed in their parcels, to keep track of their drugs and money. Through this the scheme, over 9,000 thousand pounds of suspected marijuana parcels, worth millions of dollars, were brought to the Harrisburg area.

Texidor and his codefendants used guns, robbery, and kidnapping as tools to keep their criminal operation running. At the trial, the jury heard evidence of the violence Texidor and his codefendants used to try and stop a thief from stealing their marijuana. In late 2019, a thief began stealing their marijuana from parcels shipped to them. By using tracking devices in their parcels and attaching tracking devices to vehicles, they identified the person that they suspected was stealing their marijuana. Texidor and his codefendants then hired gunmen to stop the thefts. From December 2019 to February 2020, the gunmen went after the suspected thief. In December the gunmen shot up a truck in Harrisburg connected to the suspected thief; they shot into an occupied home in Susquehanna Township where the suspected thief was sleeping; and they shot into an occupied home in Steelton that they guessed was connected to the suspected thief. In February 2020, they robbed the suspected thief at gunpoint 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. Sentencing has not been scheduled.

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 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.

The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses are life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.