Federal Jury Convicts Member Of An Orlando-Area Heroin Trafficking Organization
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Zuleyka Jeanette Colon-Rivera (25, Orlando) guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, and three counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin. She faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. The sentencing has been set for January 5, 2017.
Colon-Rivera was indicted on March 23, 2016, along with co-conspirators Angel Manuel Fontanez, Alexis Fontanez Nieves, Ernesto Cabanas-Torres, Pedro Juan Rivera-Aviles, Wilbert Joel Alequin-Pagan, Robert Sautner, and Emmanuel Verges. All eight have been convicted of a federal drug offense.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Colon-Rivera was part of a drug trafficking organization called “La Compania” or “the Company,” which operated primarily in the Orlando tourist district, near International Drive. Colon-Rivera’s responsibilities in the organization included controlling the telephone that was used to communicate with customers, supplying heroin to the organization’s street-level dealers, and collecting money from the dealers at the end of their shifts. Colon-Rivera also sold large quantities of heroin to undercover agents on two separate occasions during the conspiracy.
On February 24, 2016, law enforcement agents seized 200 bags of heroin, two firearms, ammunition, and over $10,000 from Colon-Rivera’s residence. Based on the trial testimony and the heroin purchased or seized during the investigation, this organization was responsible for the distribution of approximately one kilogram of heroin every two weeks.
This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation entitled “La Compania.” The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Orlando Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Kissimmee Police Department and the Osceola County Investigative Bureau, and the Virginia State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.
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.