JAN 09 (MANHATTAN) - Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Brian R. Crowell the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Division announced that Jose Mosquera-Prado, a top lieutenant of Colombian drug kingpin Francisco Gonzalez-Uribe, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 280 months in prison for conspiring to import and distribute cocaine and heroin into the United States. Mosquera-Prado was convicted in October 2011 following a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who also presided over the sentencing.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Mosquera-Prado, and the Colombian-based narco-trafficking organization in which he was a senior player, were responsible for moving massive quantities of cocaine and heroin from country to country, with the ultimate goal of shipping it to the U.S. Thanks to the outstanding work of, and cooperation between, the DEA and international law enforcement partners, he was thwarted and will now pay with his liberty.”
According to the trial evidence, other documents filed in the case, and statements made during court proceedings:
From 2007 through 2009, Mosquera-Prado was a top lieutenant in Gonzalez-Uribe’s international narcotics-trafficking organization, which shipped tons of cocaine and heroin to various locations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and other countries. These narcotics were then transported to the United States and various locations in Europe.
During two undercover operations in early 2009 – with the cooperation and assistance of the governments of Colombia and the Dominican Republic – the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized large quantities of cocaine and heroin from members of Gonzalez-Uribe’s narco-trafficking organization. Mosquera-Prado was intercepted on recorded telephone calls personally orchestrating the shipment of the cocaine and heroin, which were destined for sale in New York City. The cocaine and heroin that was seized by the DEA during these operations had an estimated wholesale value of approximately $2 million.
In numerous additional recorded telephone calls and emails, Mosquera-Prado negotiated and coordinated the shipments of several multi-ton loads of cocaine through South America and the Caribbean to the United States and other countries. Mosquera-Prado also sent two of his criminal associates to the Dominican Republic to examine a remote military landing strip that he intended to use to land aircraft carrying large shipments of cocaine, and sought to use a number of large, private aircraft – including a DC-8, a DC-10, a Grumman 2, and a King Air 300 – to transport massive shipments of cocaine.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Kaplan sentenced Mosquera-Prado, 36, to five years of supervised release, a $25,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment fee. Gonzalez-Uribe was designated a Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) by the U.S. Department of Justice – a designation that is reserved for federal law enforcement priority drug trafficking targets. Gonzalez-Uribe was arrested in the Dominican Republic in 2009. In 2010, he pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to narcotics importation and distribution conspiracy charges and was subsequently sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding efforts of the DEA, and specifically cited the DEA Caribbean Field Division, the DEA Bogotá Country Office, the DEA Cartagena Resident Office, the DEA Santo Domingo Country Office, and the DEA New York Field Division. He also thanked the Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and all other cooperating law enforcement agencies. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Government of the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Direccion Nacional de Control de Drogas, and the Dominican Air Force, and expressed his gratitude to the Government of Colombia and the Colombian Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation and prosecution of Mosquera-Prado.The case is being handled by the Office's Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Naftalis, John P. Cronan, and Randall W. Jackson are in charge of the prosecution.