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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 26, 2014

Colombian Man Pleads Guilty To Importation Of Heroin Through The Orlando International Airport

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, announces that William Paez Rubiano (40, Colombia) pleaded guilty to an Indictment charging him with importing heroin into the United States from Colombia. He also pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute in the United States.  Paez Rubiano faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each count, and a fine of up to $2,000,000. He is currently detained pending his sentencing hearing on September 15, 2014. 

Paez Rubiano admitted that, on May 8, 2014, he arrived in Orlando from Bogota, Colombia aboard JetBlue Airways Flight 1784, traveling with his wife and their seven-year-old daughter. Upon arrival at the Orlando International Airport, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) K-9 Officer conducted a canine sweep of Paez Rubiano and his family, including their carry-on luggage. The canine positively alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the carry-on luggage. Paez Rubiano’s carry-on luggage was examined and the officers discovered, concealed inside the linings of the luggage, a brown powder substance that yielded positive results to the presence of heroin.  Paez Rubiano accepted responsibility for the drugs, which were above three kilograms of heroin. 

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilianys Rivera Miranda.

Updated January 26, 2015