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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Friday, March 25, 2022

Dominican Republic National Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Kilograms of Cocaine by Boat

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A man from the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty today to transporting over 300 kilograms of cocaine in a “go-fast” boat traveling from Colombia to the Dominican Republic.

According to court documents, on or about November 20, 2021, Algelis Acosta Felix, 26, was one of three men apprehended by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on board an unflagged “go-fast” boat in the ocean south of the Dominican Republic. In an attempt to evade capture, Acosta Felix and the other individuals tried to flee, causing their boat to strike the USCG cutter. As the “go-fast” boat sank, USCG personnel recovered the defendant and the two other individuals from the water, as well as approximately 360 kilograms of cocaine on board the boat. USCG also located 36 pounds of marijuana aboard the boat.

Acosta Felix is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, with the possibility of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and William P. Hicks II, Special Agent in Charge, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Chesapeake Region, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ben’Ary and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Brown are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-43.

Drug Trafficking
Updated March 25, 2022