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Press Release

Colombian Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Smuggling Cocaine Onboard Go Fast Vessels

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

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. has sentenced Francisco Heleno Jaramillo (40, Colombia, South America) to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine on vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He pleaded guilty on December 19, 2016.


According to court documents, Heleno Jaramillo was responsible for several marine smuggling ventures in international waters involving more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine. In July 2013 and January 2014, the United States Coast Guard interdicted over 1,000 kilogram loads of cocaine that were being smuggled aboard vessels (commonly referred to as “go-fast boats”) traveling from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic.


This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) comprised of agents and analysts from the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, 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 was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Castaneda.

Updated March 9, 2017

Drug Trafficking