Fla. woman used firm to move cocaine to Illinois

McALLEN — A Florida woman who used her company as a front to move cocaine for the Mexican drug cartel pleaded guilty last week to a drug conspiracy charge, court notes show.

During a re-arraignment hearing Friday before U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane, Chelsea Nichole Madill pleaded true to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics in connection with an investigation into her and drug cartel associates, court records show.

Madill was arrested in January as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that began in April 2008 into an unnamed drug trafficking organization operating in the Rio Grande Valley, Guadalajara, Mexico, Merida, Mexico, and other cities located in the northern part of the United States.

“Said investigation has revealed that members of the (drug trafficking organization), including (Madill), have operated and traveled through the Southern District of Texas in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities,” the complaint against Madill read.

Federal agents allege that based on its investigation, the 29-year-old woman used two companies to coordinate the transportation of hidden loads of cocaine from the Valley to other locations in the U.S.

In May 2018, DEA agents, who were conducting surveillance on a warehouse located in McAllen, observed Madill arrive at the location and exit the vehicle she arrived in.

Agents observed Madill exit the aforementioned warehouse, and meet with the driver of a tractor trailer that had arrived at the location.

“Agents observed Madill direct the driver of the tractor trailer to back up to the loading docks of warehouse “‘M,’” the document read. “After the tractor trailer parked at the loading dock and while said trailer was loaded with a cover load, Madill stayed with the driver just outside the tractor trailer’s drivers side door. Agents followed the tractor trailer after it departed the warehouse.”

The agents subsequently pulled over the tractor trailer and searched its contents after the driver gave consent for a search.

During the search agents discovered 22 vacuum-sealed bundles of cocaine, weighing about 28.5 kilograms, after a post-arrest interview, the driver was released.

Through the investigation, and by using toll records, agents discovered Madill used a cell phone to communicate with other members of the drug trafficking organization while she was in McAllen.

Agents also learned through a “source of information,” that Madill obtained the aforementioned warehouse in March 2018 to use for her company, Monsters Inc. Logistics.

Records of bills of lading from Madill’s company, revealed she had obtained the aforementioned cover load used to conceal the cocaine as the shipper, and an additional company she owned called “Titanium Wholesale and Retail,” as the received in Lombard, Illinois.

“On the day of the seizure occurred, telephone toll analysis revealed that Madill was in contact with a Mexican telephone number utilized by the leader of the (drug trafficking organization), who agents have identified during the investigation,” the complaint read.

A subpoena for records from Brickhouse Security revealed Madill had purchased several GPS tracking devices; many of which were used to track the cover loads that were found to contain cocaine seized on May 25, 2018 — as well as other cover loads that are believed to have been used to transport drugs and bulk U.S. cash.

About six days after the May 25, 2018 seizure, Madill flew to Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, where agents observed Madill as she met with leader of the drug trafficking organization.

On June 3, 2018, Madill boarded a flight from Merida, Mexico to Atlanta, Georgia.

On or about Aug. 8, 2018, agents searched Madill’s warehouse after the owner gave consent.

“During the search, agents discovered multiple bills of lading for Monsters Inc. Logistics and Titanium Wholesale and Retail indicating the transportation of cover loads from the aforementioned warehouse to another warehouse in Lombard, Illinois,” the document read.

At the warehouse in McAllen, and the one in Illinois, agents found a vacuum sealer “commonly used” to vacuum pack drugs, as well as discarded plastic wrappings “consistent with the type and shape of wrappings used to conceal” drugs seized on May 25, 2018.

After the seizure in May 2018, agents learned from another cooperating defendant that Madill worked for the drug trafficking organization, and that the drugs originated in McAllen.

The cooperating defendant admitted that “he/she” had worked for Madill as a money courier, and purchaser of cocaine, and helped identify other members of the drug trafficking organization working with Madill.

Madill, who is free on a $50,000 unsecured bond, is expected back before the court on Oct. 15, for her sentencing hearing, court notes show.