Gwinnett man convicted of trafficking drugs for Mexican cartel

A Lawrenceville man has been convicted of seven criminal charges related to trafficking drugs for a Mexican cartel, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.

Richard Pineda Rumbo, 31, was convicted Wednesday of four meth trafficking charges and one charge each of cocaine trafficking, heroin trafficking and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. A jury returned the verdict after a three-day trial.

In October 2016, agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security got a tip that Rumbo had drugs and guns in an apartment in Duluth. The agents contacted the Gwinnett Metro Task Force, a multi-agency drug investigation group, to assist in the investigation. Local and federal law enforcement officers surveilled the Duluth apartment and noticed that Rumbo and co-defendant Irving Arroyo-Perez were regularly traveling back and forth from the Duluth apartment to a Lawrenceville home, the DA’s office said.

At the Lawrenceville home, agents saw Rumbo giving people in cars bags that they suspected to be drugs; this was confirmed when agents stopped the cars and found passengers with one kilogram of methamphetamine in each bag, according to the DA’s office. Gwinnett Metro Task Force and Homeland Security Agents soon after learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration was also investigating the Lawrenceville home as a potential “stash house” for a Mexican cartel.

The DEA obtained a search warrant and found Rumbo as the home’s sole occupant. There were “multiple kilograms” of meth and heroin, two guns and more than $20,000 in cash at the house, the DA’s office said. Authorities believe nobody was living there full-time, but using the home primarily to store and distribute drugs. More drugs — “multiple kilograms” of cocaine and meth — were found at the Duluth apartment, along with a gun, drug ledgers, wire transfer receipts and more than $14,000 in cash, the DA’s office said.

Co-defendants in this case, including Arroyo-Perez, previously entered guilty pleas to drug trafficking charges. Rumbo was sentenced to 35 years in prison by Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Robert Mock at the conclusion of the trial.

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