FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. – A Canadian man admitted today that he smuggled more than 800 grams of cocaine into the United States from the Republic of Costa Rica, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Azariah Wilson, 24, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to an Information charging him with knowingly and intentionally importing 500 grams or more of cocaine into the United States.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Around June 30, 2011, Wilson ingested 56 pellets containing cocaine before boarding a flight from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Newark Liberty International Airport. Wilson flew from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Newark, transporting 882.8 grams of cocaine. Wilson admitted that he intended to travel to Newark Liberty International Airport, and from there to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with the cocaine concealed in his body. When Wilson arrived at the airport in Newark, he was apprehended by law enforcement.
The count to which Wilson pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for May 2, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees; and officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the leadership of Director of New York Field Operations Robert E. Perez, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Aquila Govan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Linda Foster Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark