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Press Release

Colombian Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Importation Conspiracy Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Richard Mosquera Mosquera (44, Colombia, South America) today pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it would be unlawfully imported into the United States. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, up to a maximum term of life imprisonment.

Mosquera was indicted on June 12, 2013.

According to the plea agreement, on multiple occasions between 2009 and 2012, Mosquera worked with his co-defendant, Anderson Bryan Lever, and others to smuggle cocaine. Lever dispatched cocaine-laden vessels from San Andres Island, Colombia and Mosquera received them in Honduras. On each occasion, Mosquera received the cocaine and provided bales of United States currency (containing as much as $500,000 each) to the mariners who had just smuggled the cocaine. The mariners then smuggled the money back to San Andres Island, and Mosquera transferred the cocaine to others for eventual unlawful importation into the United States. 

Mosquera was arrested in Colombia and subsequently extradited to the United States. 

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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, 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. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.

Updated January 26, 2015