Delaware Man Charged with Running International Cocaine Operation
AUG 25 -- (PHILADELPHIA, PA) – Timothy Ogden, Special Agent In Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) joined Acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid today to announce the unsealing of two separate indictments against Alfonso Caldwell, a/k/a “Fonnie.” A two-count indictment charges Caldwell with conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and distributing 500 grams or more of cocaine.
These charges arise out of Caldwell’s participation in cocaine trafficking from about October 2005 through September 30, 2006. A second indictment charges Caldwell with one count of money laundering. Joining Magid in today’s announcement were G. Michael Green, Delaware County District Attorney;; John P. Kelleghan, Special Agent In Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Leslie DeMarco, Special Agent In Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; Major Lenny Bandy of the Pennsylvania State Police; and Jerry Daley, Executive Director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).
It is alleged that as early as 2006 Caldwell began receiving large shipments of cocaine and marijuana from his suppliers in Mexico, who used tractor trailers to make the deliveries. On some occasions, Caldwell paid the truck drivers for the cocaine and, on other occasions, Caldwell directly paid the suppliers who traveled to Pennsylvania to collect the money from him. According to the indictment, when the suppliers came to the area, they stayed in a Chester County, Pennsylvania apartment connected to Caldwell.
It is further alleged that in August 2006, Caldwell gave those suppliers approximately $110,000 in U.S. currency. On August 7, 2006, the suppliers were observed by law enforcement officials leaving the Chester County apartment carrying a large brown box, then driving to a Federal Express/Kinko’s facility where they deposited the box for delivery. The box was later searched and found to contain a coffee pot with approximately $110,000 in cash hidden inside the pot.
“As the indictment alleges, Caldwell was not some small-time drug operator,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid. “Tens of thousands of dollars were changing hands during drug transactions, money and drugs were being trucked across national borders, and stash houses were set up in residential neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Chester. Thankfully, we have shut down this drug operation.”
“Shutting down Caldwell’s illicit operation will help slow drug trafficking in Philadelphia and Chester,” said Timothy Ogden, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA office in Philadelphia. “Our combined effort in the law enforcement community led to the success of this criminal investigation.”
“This investigation deals a major blow to a drug trafficking organization, which operates primarily out of the City of Chester in Delaware County,” said Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green. “The success of this investigation would not have been possible without the outstanding efforts and determined dedication of Major Len Bandy and members of the Pennsylvania State Police Narcotics Unit. Working collaboratively with my office, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Drug Enforcement Administrations, we were able to take down a major local drug kingpin.”
“This goes beyond taking a drug dealer off the street,” said John Kelleghan, Special Agent In Charge of the ICE office in Philadelphia. “Money laundering investigations like this strike at the very root of drug trafficking by preventing criminals from exploiting their financial gain. This is an excellent example of how collaboration among our HIDTA Task Force partners and other law enforcement agencies can be bought to bear to unravel complex money laundering operations.”
”The indictment charges that defendant Caldwell sold a total of 11 kilograms of cocaine in 2005 and 2006. Some purchases were made in cash; others on credit. For example, on
September 20, 2006, Caldwell sold four kilos of cocaine for $80,000, a portion of which was sold on credit. The defendant maintained storage, packaging, and distribution centers, including one on Daphne Street in Philadelphia and another on Third Street in Chester.