Miami Men Charged in Multi-Kilogram
Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, and R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida announced today’s filing of a Criminal Complaint against defendants, Alfredo Zapata-Mosquera and Aymer Antonio Castillo Salazar, charging both men with possession with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846, respectively. If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.
“Heroin, though not a drug presently headlining most news stories, has never gone away," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. "It remains an incredibly destructive drug that poses a great danger to the residents of our communities. DEA, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in local law enforcement, will continue to pursue those individuals who attempt to infect our communities with this poison."
According to the Complaint, on January 28, 2006, Zapata met with another individual and offered to sell that person approximately three kilograms heroin. The heroin was located inside metal cylinders. Immediately following this transaction, Zapata was arrested. During a search of Zapata’s belongings at the time of the arrest, DEA agents discovered information regarding a shipment of tractor chains being delivered from Colombia to Miami under the business name of Agro Industriales Londono (hereafter referred to as the “warehouse”). The warehouse was located in Miami-Dade County. Zapata was the renter of the location and authorized DEA agents to search the warehouse.
Later that day, DEA agents went to the warehouse, where they found and arrested defendant Castillo. After securing the location, the agents discovered several pieces of a large, heavy tractor chain and additional sealed metal cylinders like the ones Zapata had in his possession at the time of his arrest. The agents conducted a field test of the contents of one of the cylinders, and it tested positive for heroin. In total, the agents discovered approximately 47 cylinders stored in the tractor chains, each containing approximately 310 to 320 grams of heroin, for an approximate total gross weight of heroin of 15 to 17 kilograms. The chains themselves weighed approximately 5 tons and could be moved using hydraulic equipment.
U.S. Attorney Acosta stated, “Drug traffickers are always on the look-out for new ways to bring in and hide their contraband. This is not new to South Florida. But neither is our commitment and resolve to rid our community of illegal drugs. There is no safe-haven in Miami for drug dealers and their drugs.”
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hialeah Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Rashbaum.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.