Drug Smuggling Organization Manager Sentenced To More than 19 Years in Federal Prison
Tampa, FL - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces today that U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Neiser Guerrero-Jimenez (33, Colombia, South America) to 235 months in federal prison for conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine on board vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Guerrero-Jimenez pled guilty on December 5, 2011.
According to court documents, in 2009 and 2010, Guerrero-Jimenez recruited, paid, managed, and dispatched mariners engaged in smuggling large quantities of cocaine using stateless self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessels, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Guerrero-Jimenez began as a mariner on similar, successful maritime cocaine smuggling trips earlier in the last decade, and worked his way up, eventually becoming a dispatcher and manager for the organization. He provided instructions and navigation equipment to the captains of the SPSS vessels.
The United States Coast Guard interdicted three SPSS vessels dispatched by Guerrero-Jimenez. These interdictions took place on May 6, 2009, July 28, 2009 and August 11, 2009, after each vessel departed the Mayorquin-area along Colombia’s southern coast, and entered international waters. The mariners on the three interdicted vessels were first brought into the United States in the Middle District of Florida.
Guerrero-Jimenez was arrested in Colombia, South America by Colombian authorities on June 16, 2010. He was extradited to the United States on September 22, 2011.
This case was investigated by OCDETF's Panama Express South Strike Force, comprised of agents and analysts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.