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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Guatemalan Man Pleads Guilty for Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

RICHMOND, Va. – A Guatemalan national pleaded guilty today for conspiring to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine knowing and intending that it would be unlawfully imported into the United States.

According to court documents, Brayan Alexander Gramajo Jolomna, 31, was a member of a large-scale international drug trafficking organization (DTO) based in Central America. Between June 2015 and June 2016, Gramajo assisted in the purchase and transportation of cocaine on behalf of the DTO. Specifically, Gramajo kept inventory records for the DTO documenting the transportation of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from parts of Guatemala to the Mexican border, with intent to import the drugs into the United States. In addition, Gramajo assisted in the construction of a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel, the maritime pickup of large amounts of cocaine off the Guatemalan coast, and the transportation of various amounts of cocaine via land routes throughout Central America. In May 2016, Gramajo, along with other co-conspirators, participated in a search and rescue recovery effort of approximately 500 kilograms of cocaine lost at sea by the DTO off the Pacific coast of Guatemala.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Operation Go Explorers. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Gramajo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine for the purpose of importation into the United States and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison when sentenced on September 28.  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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson accepted the plea.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik S. Siebert, Peter S. Duffey, and Heather H. Mansfield 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cr-67.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated June 14, 2018