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Press Release

Colombian Submarine Manufacturer Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Smuggling Charges

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

Tampa, Florida – Alexander Giraldo Santa (48, Colombia) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine while aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison, although the terms of his extradition prohibit the imposition of a life sentence.

According to the plea agreement, Giraldo Santa participated in the manufacture of numerous self-propelled semi-submersible vessels used to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of cocaine on the high seas. Two of the vessels were intercepted by the United States Coast Guard.

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 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 Assistant United States Attorney James C. Preston, Jr.

Updated March 6, 2020

Drug Trafficking