Last of Six Defendants Pleads Guilty in Frederick County Cocaine Conspiracy

June 26, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - Rolando Banos-Andaya, age 29, of Durham, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine hydrochloride, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

"This important case demonstrates how criminals import illegal drugs that harm Maryland's communities," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "Coordination by local and federal law enforcement is essential to identify criminals who transport drugs and money across state and international borders and bring them to justice."

According to the plea agreement, in August 2007, Banos-Andaya conspired with Felipe Penalosa, Jose Francisco Oviedo and Edwin Addiel Santamaria to deliver seven kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride from North Carolina to Rene Santiago-Barrera and Adan Santiago-Barrera in Maryland. On August 30, Banos-Andaya followed an Acura that contained the seven kilograms of cocaine and arrived at an airplane hangar in Frederick, Maryland, intending to sell the cocaine for $20,000 per kilogram. The hangar was under surveillance by the DEA and Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Banos-Andaya was arrested with his co-conspirators.

Banos-Andaya faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and a $4 million fine. He has agreed to forfeit a Ford F-150 pick-up truck used in the commission of the conspiracy. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for August 22, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.

Penalosa, age 35 of Rickdale, Texas; Oviedo, age 45, of Durham, North Carolina; Santamaria, age 36, of Clayton, North Carolina; and Rene Santiago-Barrera, age 25, of Frederick, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the conspiracy and all face a maximum sentence of life in prison at their sentencings scheduled in July of 2008. Adan Santiago-Barrera, age 23, of Frederick, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and was sentenced to 51 months in prison on May 5, 2008.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Bryan M. Giblin, who is prosecuting the case.



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