Accused leader of Mexican drug cartel in federal court

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

According to officials, Carlos Ramon Castro-Rocha once led a powerful drug cartel that shipped heroin from Mexico for sale in the United States including Charlotte.
 
A federal grand jury indicted him in 2009, accusing him of pushing heroin between 2005-2007.
 
Mexican police working with the U.S. arrested Castro-Rocha in 2010 as part of a huge operation called Project Deliverance.
 
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder touted Castro-Rocha's arrest as a big net for federal officials.
 
"This operation has struck a significant blow against the cartels, but make no mistake: We know that as successful as this operation was, it was just one battle in what is an ongoing war," said Holder.
 
"He was just brought to Charlotte on Saturday," said defense attorney Rob Heroy.
 
Castro-Rocha was transported from Arizona where he also faces federal drug charges.
 
Heroy wouldn't say much more about his client's case.
 
"He's aware of the possible punishments and that sort of thing," he said.
 
Channel 9 asked if Castro-Rocha is working on a deal with prosecutors.
 
"I can't talk about that either," said Heroy.
 
But Channel 9 obtained court documents outlining the plea agreement which states Castro-Rocha will plead guilty to two charges of importing heroin and conspiring to distribute the drug and prosecutors will drop the other two.
 
He could face 10 years to life in prison on each charge and up to a $10 million fine.
 
Channel 9 will follow the plea hearing on April 28.
 
Once the case in North Carolina is over, Castro-Rocha will be sent to Arizona where he faces more federal drug charges.