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Press Release

Panamanian Man Sentenced for Role in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – A Panamanian businessman was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for his role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy involving the importation of 22 kilograms of cocaine onboard a commercial shipping vessel.

Humberto Beckford, 36, of Panama City, Panama, pleaded guilty on Dec. 22, 2016. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in March 2016 a Panamanian drug trafficking organization (DTO) secreted a cocaine load onboard a commercial shipping vessel traveling from Panama to Charleston, South Carolina. On March 11, 2016, Beckford, was directed by a member of the DTO to travel from Miami to Charleston to supervise the distribution of the cocaine load upon its arrival at the Port of Charleston. Unbeknownst to Beckford, law enforcement had intercepted the cocaine load onboard the ship. The next day Beckford met with undercover federal law enforcement agents to coordinate the distribution of a bag containing 22 kilograms of cocaine to a drug courier working for the DTO.

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; Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik Siebert and Peter S. Duffey prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located be found 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-117.

Updated March 24, 2017

Drug Trafficking