News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2008

Foreign Drug Kingpin Samuel Knowles Convicted on Importation of Several Thousand Kilograms of Cocaine

MAR 5 -- Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami Field Division, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL), and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced that Samuel Knowles was found guilty on Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment brought against him in the SDFL. In addition, forfeiture was ordered in the amount of $13.9 million which represents the money received in exchange for and used to facilitate the distribution of narcotics. Knowles’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 23, 2008. Knowles faces a maximum statutory sentence of life imprisonment on each count.

Knowles was designated as a Foreign Narcotics Kingpin by President Bush in May 2002 under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (FNKDA). The purpose of the FNKDA is to deny significant foreign narcotics traffickers, their related businesses, and their operatives access to the U.S. financial system and all trade and transactions involving U.S. companies and individuals. The FNKDA authorizes the President to take these actions when he determines that a foreign narcotics trafficker presents a threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

Knowles was extradited from the Bahamas on September 7, 2006 on federal narcotics charges. According to the evidence, Knowles was a participant in a conspiracy between 1995 and 1996 to import several thousand kilograms of cocaine into the United States using “go fast” vessels. Knowles and his co-conspirators used various routes in the Caribbean to facilitate their importation scheme.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the DEA and FBI.