A Southland woman who ordered Uber rides to Los Angeles International Airport for drug couriers boarding flights to Detroit with cocaine and heroin hidden in their luggage was sentenced Wednesday to time already served for her role in the scheme.
Gabriela Maria De Leon pleaded guilty last year in Los Angeles to a single federal charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder sentenced De Leon to the 15 months she has already spent in custody, plus three years of supervised release.
“At the end of the day, I would conclude that Ms. De Leon was less culpable (than her co-defendants),” Snyder said from the bench.
Two of the remaining three defendants — Kennsha Mason and Delano “Bop Bop” Leflore — previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing. Kevin “Wood” Blair faces trial next month.
The case began to unfold in March 2017 when authorities discovered more than four pounds of heroin and two pounds of cocaine in checked luggage at LAX. The luggage belonged to Mason, 30, of Detroit, who acted as a courier.
Leflore, 38, also of Detroit, had hired Mason to transport the drugs and made arrangements for her to travel to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, Mason went to a townhouse on South Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, where Blair, 46, of Pasadena, allegedly supplied the narcotics that were discovered by law enforcement in her suitcase, according to federal prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Wyman told the court that in her “minor role” in the conspiracy, De Leon had arranged Uber rides for couriers and helped ship a box that contained narcotics to Detroit.
In a tearful statement to the court, De Leon, whose age and hometown were not immediately available, said her two children had suffered the most from her actions.
“My kids are growing up without their mother,” she said. “I know that what I did was very wrong. It will never happen again.”
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