Port Charlotte Armed Career Criminal Pleads Guilty To Methamphetamine And Heroin Distribution Offenses And To Possessing A Firearm As A Convicted Felon
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Dario Renteria-Garcia (41, Colombia, South America) has pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, on multiple occasions between 2010 and 2013, Renteria-Garcia organized maritime cocaine shipments. Among other things, he recruited mariners to smuggle cocaine from Colombia by sea in September 2010 and January 2013. Those mariners were subsequently interdicted by the U.S. Coast Guard in the eastern Pacific Ocean with over 1,000 kilograms of cocaine.
Renteria-Garcia was arrested in Colombia, and subsequently extradited to the United States, first arriving at a place in the Middle District of Florida.
This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, a standing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation comprised of agents and analysts from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and U.S. Southern Command's Joint Interagency Task Force South. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray. The Office of International Affairs, Department of Justice, assisted with Renteria-Garcia’s extradition from Colombia.