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Press Release

Colombian Man Sentenced More Than 17 Years In Prison For International Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

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

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara today sentenced Anderson Bryan Lever (39, Colombia, South America) to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison for conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, onboard vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

According to court documents and information presented at sentencing, between 2009 and 2013, Lever worked with his co-defendant and others to smuggle cocaine.  Lever repeatedly dispatched vessels carrying between 550 and 1,000 kilograms of cocaine from San Andres Island, Colombia.  On each occasion, He recruited and paid at least four mariners per vessel. 

Lever’s co-conspirators received cocaine shipments in Honduras, then 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 Lever in Colombia. In total, the mariners successfully smuggled more than 10,000 kilograms of cocaine.  

Lever was previously convicted for importing cocaine in Guerrero, Mexico.  In September 2001, he was sentenced to more than 13 years’ imprisonment in Mexico, but escaped and fled to Colombia in November 2002. He was arrested in Colombia and subsequently extradited to the United States in November 2015.

This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, a standing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation, comprised of agents and analysts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.  The Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, assisted with Lever’s extradition.

Updated June 24, 2016

Drug Trafficking