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Leader of organization that smuggled cocaine on commercial airlines from the west indies to england via the united states pleads guilty

May 2, 2011


NEWARK, N.J. – An extradited leader of an organization that smuggled cocaine aboard commercial airlines from the West Indies to England via the United States pleaded guilty today, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Roger Folkes, 39, who was extradited from Jamaica in November 2010, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh to a Superseding Indictment charging him with conspiracy to import and to export cocaine. Judge Cavanaugh remanded the defendant without bail.

According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made today in Newark federal court:

Roger Folkes pleaded guilty to an international cocaine-trafficking conspiracy. Roger Folkes admitted that he, his brother, Romeo Folkes, and Mervin Francis acquired cocaine in Jamaica and St. Lucia, concealed that cocaine in luggage, and provided that cocaine-filled luggage to drug couriers who transported it by commercial airlines to Great Britain after making intermediate stops in the United States.

Today’s plea stems from a multi-jurisdictional and international investigation into narcotics trafficking that has resulted in multiple narcotics seizures and the charging of 13 individuals to date. Roger Folkes is the eleventh member of this international cocaine-trafficking ring to have pleaded guilty in the District of New Jersey.

The conspiracy charge to which Roger Folkes pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a statutory maximum of life in prison, and fines of up to $10 million.

Fishman credited special agents of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Peter T. Edge; and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John G. McCabe – in coordination with police officers of the West Midlands Police Complex Casework Unit in Birmingham, England – for the investigation leading to today’s plea.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric W. Moran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.


Defense counsel: Roger Folkes – Rubin M. Sinins, Esq., Newark, New Jersey

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