Atlanta-Area Men Plead Guilty To Drug Trafficking and Related Offenses
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that AARON SPRIGGS, age 42, TERBEN POUMIAN-RAMIREZ, age 31, RAFAEL MARTINEZ, age 28, and LUIS MARTINEZ-VEGA, age 28, all of the Atlanta, Georgia area, pled guilty Tuesday, March 26, 2019 to a Bill of Information charging drug trafficking and related offenses. SPRIGGS, POUMIAN-RAMIREZ, and MARTINEZ pled guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), and 846. MARTINEZ-VEGA pled guilty to actively concealing that felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4.
According to the Bill of Information and an earlier-filed complaint, the men traveled to New Orleans intending to purchase several kilograms of cocaine from a man whom they believed to be a Colombian source of supply importing narcotics via the Port of New Orleans. SPRIGGS, who arrived with a gun and more than $100,000 in cash, was to purchase the narcotics; POUMIAN-RAMIREZ and MARTINEZ acted as middlemen brokering the deal between SPRIGGS and the source of supply; and MARTINEZ-VEGA was the driver of one of the two vehicles that made the trip.
For the narcotics offense, SPRIGGS, POUMIAN-RAMIREZ, and MARTINEZ face up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. For the misprision of a felony offense, MARTINEZ-VEGA faces a term of imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to one year of supervised release.
Sentencing is set before Judge Eldon E. Fallon on July 11, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Sandman is in charge of the prosecution.