EIGHT MIAMI AREA MEN CHARGED WITH NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING
Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Roberto Fulgueira, Chief, City of Sweetwater Police Department, announce the unsealing of a six count indictment against eight Miami-Dade County residents, charging them with narcotics trafficking violations in connection with their participation in a conspiracy to possess and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Charged in the Indictment are defendants Carlos Lodos-Gil, a/k/a/ “Molleja,” age 59, Carlos Juanes, age 44, Daniel Gerardo Torres, a/k/a/ “Chama,” age 39, Jose Betancourt, age 41, Ruben Pedrera, a/k/a/ “Clavo,” age 56, Victor Ahmmed Iglesias, a/k/a/ “Biti,” age 35, Jorge Lebrada, age 55, and Ricardo Abreu, age 23. All defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine from July 2008 to May 2009. The indictment also charges defendants Lodos, Juanes, Torres and Betancourt with possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine on May 27, 2009. Defendant Lodos is additionally charged in four separate counts of distribution of narcotics on specific dates.
Six of the eight defendants were arrested on March 3 - 4, 2010, and are expected to make their initial appearances in federal court on March 4, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. before Magistrate Judge William Turnoff. Defendants Torres and Betancourt remain at large. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno.
During the course of the investigation, approximately nine kilograms of cocaine and $119,000 in cash were seized. According to the investigation, this group operated in Miami-Dade County and in the New York area and trafficked in cocaine on a retail level.
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman stated, “Whenever we dismantle a drug trafficking ring, whether it is a local gang, a national distribution organization, or an international drug cartel, we not only take drugs off our streets, but also help make our community safer by reducing the level of violence that accompanies the drug trade. We are proud to join and support the DEA in the war on drugs.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated “These arrests dismantled a Miami-Dade County-based drug trafficking organization that distributed drugs locally and in New York. Our close partnership with the participating agencies makes cases like this successful.”
An Indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 10 years to life on the conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute charges. Defendant Lodos faces a maximum of up to 40 years in prison on the additional distribution counts.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, Miami-Dade Police Department and the City of Sweetwater Police Department. This is case being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Leonard Athas.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.