Drug trafficker pleads guilty to role in 2011 Reston murder

A Maryland man the U.S. Department of Justice describes as a longtime fugitive pleaded guilty last week to aiding and abetting a drug-related murder in 2011 in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Fifty-five-year-old Saul Pacheco Mejia of Beltsville arranged to sell cocaine in Reston on Dec. 12, 2011, according to court documents.

Mejia and two other men arrived at an apartment in Reston, but the intended customer tried to steal the cocaine and flee, the DOJ said in a release. The man was chased, shot and killed by Mejia’s associates.

The DOJ said Mejia himself was not armed, but he knew his associates were.

As WTOP reported at the time, police found the man alive in the parking lot of the complex. He later died at a nearby hospital.

All three fled the U.S. for Honduras shortly after the crime. Then, in late 2019, Mejia was found in Texas and arrested.

He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy, causing death, as well as aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in connection with a drug conspiracy resulting in death.

Mejia is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 10. Under his plea agreement, he will not be sentenced to more than 25 years in prison.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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