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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

San Francisco International Airport Passenger Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Cocaine

SAN FRANCISCO – Emmanuel Amankwa, a passenger who was transiting San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on his way out of the country, pleaded guilty last week to possessing with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

Amankwa was arrested on Oct. 23, 2012, at SFO while attempting to board a flight to Japan. A subsequent investigation by officers from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed that Amankwa was carrying 995 grams of cocaine in 100 latex-wrapped pellets inside his body. Amankwa was attempting to smuggle the cocaine into Japan.

Amankwa was charged by complaint on Oct. 23, 2012. A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment on Nov. 8, 2012. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 17, 2012.

Under the terms of a plea agreement between the government and Amankwa, Amankwa faces a sentence of 60 to 80 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release. He also must pay $16,178 in restitution for the medical costs associated with collecting the cocaine pellets he had ingested. Notwithstanding this agreement, the court will determine and impose a sentence on Amankwa after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White is scheduled to impose sentence on April 11, 2013.

(Amankwa Indictment )