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Press Release

Colombian Man Sentenced To More Than 15 Years For Transporting Cocaine

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

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday has sentenced Francisco Moreno-Valencia (40, Colombia, South America) to 15 years and 6 months 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. Moreno-Valencia pleaded guilty on February 15, 2018.

According to court documents, Francisco Moreno-Valencia was the right hand of his brother, Luis Moreno-Valencia, who was the organizational head of his Colombian-based drug trafficking organization. Francisco Moreno-Valencia was responsible for storing the cocaine and dispatching the mariners for several maritime smuggling ventures in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In November 2014 and December 2015, the United States Coast Guard interdicted over 800 kilograms of cocaine aboard vessels commonly referred to as “go fast boats.” Francisco Moreno-Valencia was involved in the transportation of cocaine from Choco, Colombia, to Panama.

Luis Moreno-Valencia was sentenced to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison on May 17, 2018.

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 United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, 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 Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas N. Palermo and Charlie Connally.

Updated June 27, 2018

Drug Trafficking