Man Pleads Guilty In Panamanian Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that Kelvin Cook, age 34 of Wilmington, Delaware, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846. The charge carries a maximum term of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of ten years imprisonment. The Court scheduled a sentencing hearing for Thursday, June 20, 2013, at 3:00 p.m.
According to facts introduced at the change of plea hearing, Cook was responsible for recruiting a number of drug couriers to take smuggling trips to Panama to illegally import cocaine and heroin into the United States. Agents identified a total of 19 couriers who took smuggling trips on behalf of the organization, and who smuggled, or attempted to smuggle, more than 13 kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of heroin from Panama to Delaware. Cook also was responsible for a significant crack cocaine distribution network on the 500 block of West Sixth Street in Wilmington.
Cook is the fourteenth individual charged in connection with the Wilmington-based Panama drug conspiracy to enter a guilty plea in federal court. Ten 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. In addition, three defendants are in Panamanian custody, while two other defendants remain at large.
The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the Wilmington Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert F. Kravetz. For further information, contact Press Information Officer Kimberlynn Reeves at (302) 573-6277, ext. 16287.
For additional information regarding the case, see also: http://www.justice.gov/usao/de/news/2011/Panama%20Press%20Release.html; http://www.justice.gov/usao/de/news/2012/07-27.html; http://www.justice.gov/usao/de/news/2012/07-25.html; http://www.justice.gov/usao/de/news/2012/Banerjee%20Plea%20Release.html