Jamaican Drug Courier Convicted At Trial
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that yesterday a federal jury found Santana James (23, Montego Bay, Jamaica) guilty of conspiracy to possess 500 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to distribute, and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. James faces a minimum sentence of five years, up to a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 18, 2014. James was indicted on August 27, 2013.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on August 13, 2013, James traveled from Montego Bay, Jamaica to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with cocaine. An investigation revealed that she swallowed approximately a half kilogram of cocaine in more than eighty saran wrapped pellets, wore altered undergarments with more than a kilogram of cocaine concealed within them, and inserted a cylinder shaped package filled with cocaine into her body. James brought the cocaine into the United States at the behest of Horace Anthony Troupe, another Jamaican national. Once James arrived with the cocaine, Troupe added it to cocaine brought in by his other drug couriers.
On August 18, 2013, Troupe and co-defendant Antonio Richards were arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida, with 7.5 kilograms of cocaine contained in six individually wrapped packages. Both Troupe and Richards previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. They are scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office HIDTA Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shauna S. Hale and Carlton Gammons.
It was prosecuted as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation's drug supply.