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Press Release

DeLand Man Convicted Of Conspiring To Distribute Three Kilograms Of Cocaine

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

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Alejandro Estrada Aplesa (27, DeLand) guilty of possession with intent distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine. He faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison for each count. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Aplesa was charged by a superseding indictment on December 16, 2015. 

According to evidence presented at trial, on August 24, 2015, Aplesa was stopped for speeding in St. Johns County on Interstate I-95. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deployed a canine and handler team, which detected the presence of illegal drugs in the car. A search of the car revealed three one-kilogram bundles of cocaine in a bag under the driver’s seat. At the scene, Aplesa and his passenger denied that there were drugs in the car. 

During the trial, Aplesa testified, denying that the cocaine had been his and asserted that he had been asked to run an errand, not knowing that the delivery of cocaine was involved. Aplesa claimed he had discovered the cocaine in the car only minutes before the traffic stop and that he had been returning to confront the man ultimately responsible for sending him on the delivery, but had been stopped by the police before he could do so. 

This case was investigated by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael J. Coolican and Frank Talbot.

Updated January 22, 2016

Drug Trafficking