NEWARK, NJ. – A citizen of Mexico who was extradited to the United States on narcotics trafficking charges had her initial appearance in New Jersey federal court, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Norma Flores-Fernandez, aka “Norma Camarillo,” 55, is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Flores-Fernandez was arrested in Mexico at the request of the United States on Sept. 24, 2023, and extradited to the United States. She had her initial appearance on Jan. 2, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court, pleaded not guilty, and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Flores-Fernandez was part of a Guadalajara, Mexico-based drug trafficking organization that distributed narcotics, including cocaine and heroin, throughout the United States from March 2018 through December 2019. Flores-Fernandez coordinated the distribution of approximately 15 kilograms of cocaine in Chicago and approximately 5.6 kilograms of heroin in New Jersey, both of which were seized by law enforcement.
Four of Flores-Fernandez’s conspirators – Oscar Alberto Flores-Fernandez, 53, Dario Camarillo, 60, Laura Vanessa Diosa-Giraldo, 30, and Emilio Gutierrez-Martinez, aka “Jose Silvetre-Soto,” 39 – previously pleaded guilty to narcotics offenses. Oscar Alberto Flores-Fernandez, who is also a Mexican citizen, was previously extradited to the United States from Peru.
The charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin each carry a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison and a statutory maximum fine of $10 million.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz in Newark and Special Agent in Charge Sheila G. Lyons in Chicago, Illinois; and special agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Lafonda Sutton-Burke in Chicago, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Lima, Peru; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Guadalajara, Mexico; and Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago; DEA – Los Angeles; and the U.S. Marshals Service; for their assistance in the investigation. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the arrest of Flores-Fernandez and her extradition to the United States. U.S. Attorney Sellinger thanked officials in Mexico for their assistance in the investigation.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George M. Barchini of the OCDETF Unit and Mark J. Pesce of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.