Nicaraguan National Sentenced on Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Field Division, announce the conviction and sentencing of Franklin William McField-Bent, a/k/a “Buda.” McField-Bent, 55, a Nicaraguan national, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore to a 235-month term of incarceration on drug trafficking conspiracy charges in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 963, and a 180-month term of incarceration for his participation in a conspiracy to provide weapons to a designated terrorist organization in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B. The 180-month term of incarceration –the highest possible sentence allowable under the statute – was ordered to run concurrent to the 235-month term of incarceration. McField-Bent had previously agreed to plead guilty on November 8, 2012.
McField-Bent conceded in a factual proffer that, during the time of the charged conspiracy, he had had numerous meetings and phone calls with Colombian law enforcement officers who, posing as members of a foreign terrorist organization, sought to obtain weapons that they intended to use to launch attacks on the Colombian government. McField-Bent arranged for the March 2010 sale of six grenade launchers, 20 grenades, an Uzi submachine gun and 100 rounds to the Colombian law enforcement officers. McField-Bent also admitted to participating in the shipment of three multi-hundred kilogram loads of cocaine to Central America knowing that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “International drug traffickers, like this defendant, continue to pose a direct and immediate threat to our national security. Through proactive efforts and dedicated resources of our office, together with considerable international and domestic cooperation, we will continue to combat those who threaten the welfare of our citizens.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “The sentence of Nicaraguan National William McField-Bent highlights the DEA’s commitment to target the highest level of drug traffickers regardless of their nationality. There is no danger greater than the marriage of drug trafficking and terrorism.”
“The arrest, conviction and subsequent sentencing of McField-Bent is an important accomplishment for the U.S. Government and its international partners due to the magnitude of his criminal violations and threat to the homeland,” said Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge of ICE-HSI in Miami. “We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to identify and dismantle drug and weapons trafficking organizations.”
The extradition of McField-Bent is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) led by DEA and HSI. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
Mr. Ferrer commends the outstanding investigative efforts of DEA and ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fels.
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.