Man Pleads Guilty in Panamanian Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
WILMINGTON, Del. - Roumik Banerjee, age 25 of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to smuggle five kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin from the Republic of Panama into the United States, United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III announced. Banerjee’s sentencing has been scheduled for Thursday, September 13, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.
During the change of plea hearing, Banerjee admitted taking a total of four trips to Panama to smuggle back heroin and cocaine into the United States on behalf of the alleged leaders of the organization, co-defendants Ronaldo Edmund and Kelvin Cook. On the first two occasions, Banerjee acted as a courier and personally smuggled cocaine and heroin from Panama into the United States. On his final two trips, Banerjee acted as a handler of other couriers who had been sent to Panama to smuggle back heroin and cocaine. In connection with his plea agreement Banerjee accepted responsibility for his role in smuggling 3.5 kilograms of cocaine and 4 kilograms of heroin. Banerjee further admitted that he received cash and heroin as his payment for making the trips.
Banerjee is the tenth individual charged in connection with the Wilmington-based Panama drug conspiracy to enter a guilty plea. Six defendants have entered guilty pleas in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, while four other defendants have entered guilty pleas in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. For details regarding the District of Delaware guilty pleas, See December 19, 2011 press release at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/de/press/index.html.
The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, and the Wilmington Police Department.
The charge to which Banerjee pleaded guilty, Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846 is punishable by a maximum term of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of ten years imprisonment.