WASHINGTON – A Bahamian national formerly residing in Haiti was convicted today by a jury in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on charges of narcotics distribution, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Alice S. Fisher announced.
According to the indictment and information presented in court, Darren Ferguson, 37, a trained airplane pilot, transported multiple tons of cocaine from Colombia and marijuana from Jamaica through drug routes in Jamaica and Haiti for ultimate delivery to the United States. The charges against Ferguson arose from evidence obtained during Operation Busted Manatee, a 29 month-long international Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation into cocaine and marijuana trafficking, conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal, state and local law enforcement, working with partners in six foreign countries.
A grand jury returned the indictment against Ferguson on Feb. 4, 2004, charging him with conspiracy to manufacture or distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one thousand kilograms or more of marijuana; and knowing and intending for the narcotics to be imported into the United States. The indictment was unsealed on June 23, 2004.
Ferguson was arrested on April 13, 2005, in Jamaica and extradited to the United States on Feb. 3, 2006. Ferguson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled before the Honorable Gladys Kessler on Sept. 8, 2008.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Robert A. Spelke and Donnell Turner, and paralegal Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section. The investigation was led by the Bilateral Case Squad of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, with support from the Royal Bahamian Police Force and the U.S. Coast Guard.