Man Pleads Guilty to Role in International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
RICHMOND, Va. – Lamar Gayle, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty today to drug charges related to his role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, on Feb. 12, 2016, Gayle traveled from Brooklyn to Charleston, South Carolina, to receive 15 kilograms of cocaine from a Panamanian drug trafficking organization (DTO) for domestic distribution. On the same day, law enforcement intercepted 15 kilograms of cocaine on a commercial shipping vessel at the Port of Charleston sent by the Panamanian DTO. On Feb. 13, 2016, Gayle obtained a bag containing 15 kilograms of cocaine in Charleston from a co-conspirator while under surveillance of law enforcement, and upon taking possession of the cocaine, Gayle boarded a commercial bus and traveled to the Eastern District of Virginia. On Feb. 14, 2016, law enforcement executed a drug interdiction operation in Sussex County on the commercial bus on which Gayle was traveling. During the stop of the bus, law enforcement surveillance observed Gayle hide the bag containing the cocaine under a seat inside the bus, and shortly thereafter seized the bag containing the 15 kilograms of cocaine.
Gayle was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 20, 2016, and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on April 28. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Daniel Salter, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Atlanta Division; Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Atlanta; Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent, Virginia State Police; and Humberto I. Cardounel, Jr., Chief of Henrico County Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik Siebert, Peter S. Duffey, and David V. Harbach, II are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cr-108.