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Press Release

Foreign National Convicted of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal jury in the District of Columbia convicted a national of the Dominican Republic yesterday of a felony drug trafficking conspiracy.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Cesar Gomez Almonte, aka Jhonny Gomez and Johnny Gomez, 51, was a member of a drug trafficking network based in the Dominican Republic. The network facilitated the transportation of multi-hundred-kilogram shipments of cocaine by boat from the Caribbean to the United States. The drug trafficking network insulated itself by compartmentalizing operations and covering up true ownership of the boats used to transport cocaine. Gomez Almonte’s role within the organization was to search for and acquire new boats the network could use for future drug ventures, to coordinate the straw transfer of a boat used in a prior drug venture, and to broker the use of a boat for a cocaine shipment knowing that the cocaine was bound for the United States.          

On Dec. 12, 2020, Gomez Almonte was arrested in the Miami International Airport.

The jury convicted Gomez Almonte of conspiracy to import five kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 20, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a statutory maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York made the announcement.

The case is supported by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). 

HSI New York investigated the case.

Acting Assistant Deputy Chief Melanie L. Alsworth and Trial Attorneys Samantha Thompson and Janet H. Turnbull of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section are prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and Customs and Border Protection’s Miami Air and Marine Branch also provided significant assistance.  

Updated November 30, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 23-1342