Woman found guilty of smuggling meth, officials say

Woman found guilty of smuggling meth, officials say

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - According to Chris Givens with the United States Attorney's Office, a Batesville woman was found guilty Wednesday in a case where she was accused of smuggling meth and cash inside car seats.

Elsa Solis was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, possession with the intent to distribute meth and misprision in a case involving the smuggling of 2.5 kilos of meth and $19,000 in cash inside two car seats.

Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Harris said the actions of Solis, who is one of eight people arrested by federal authorities in connection with the case, was disgusting.

"It is reprehensible that a mother would use her children to attempt to conceal her methamphetamine smuggling," Harris said in a statement. "This conspiracy involved multiple kilos of meth intended to poison our communities and the hard work of everyone involved ensured a jury verdict which completes the successful dismantling of this dangerous drug trafficking organization."

Solis' boyfriend, Ivan Pedraza, has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute meth, Givens said.

The three-day trial, which stemmed from a July 2015 investigation by the DEA and federal Homeland Security investigators, ended Wednesday, Givens said.

Authorities believe Solis and Pedraza; and her two children, went to Dallas in July 2015 to pick up the meth and that Solis agreed to buy acetone, used by meth traffickers to rid the substance of impurities before it is sold.

"The jury heard calls that discussed how Pedraza and Solis needed to buy new car seats, since the others were left in Batesville. One call recorded Pedraza talking about how one car seat left behind was loaded with 'stew'," Givens said, noting 'stew' is a code word for meth.

In addition to finding $1,700 in cash in Solis' purse, officers found nearly $40,000 and meth during search warrants served at homes in Batesville and Little Rock, officials said.

Solis is set to be sentenced at a later date.

Solis could face between 10 years and life in prison on the conspiracy and possession charges; and up to three years in prison on the misprision charge.

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