Eighth person pleads guilty in New Buffalo cocaine ring

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – An eight person pleaded guilty to felony charges following an investigation into a cocaine ring centered in New Buffalo, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Adrian Romero Antunez, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Romero Antunez is a Mexico national in the United States on  tourist visa.

On November 3, 2021, 90 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers executed search and arrest warrants in western Michigan, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, and central Illinois. During the searches, investigators seized over 1.5 kilograms (approximately 3.3 pounds) of cocaine, approximately $100,000 in cash, six vehicles linked to cocaine trafficking, and two firearms, according to reports.

The following men pleaded guilty to felony charges:

  • Ivan Huerta Hernandez, 33, of New Buffalo (sentencing scheduled for July 21)
  • Adrian Romero Antunez, 35, of Chicago (sentencing scheduled for September 12)
  • Henry Shavar Nichols, 41, of Greenville, S.C. (sentenced to three years in prison)
  • Marcus Jemel Johnson, 41, of Benton Harbor (sentencing scheduled for June 21)
  • Juan Martinez Camarillo, 37, of Michigan City (sentenced to four years and 9 months in prison)
  • Donald James Rogers, 62, of New Buffalo (sentencing scheduled for June 17)
  • Manuel Eudave, 54, of La Porte
  • Santiago Cardenas, 41, of Michigan City (sentenced to one year of probation)

The cocaine ring centered around Huerta Hernandez, according to reports. Through channels in Mexico, Huerta Hernandez was supplied by sources in Chicago, including Romero Antunez. Huerta Hernandez then distributed the cocaine to dealers in western Michigan and northern Indiana, reports said.

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