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Press Release

Kissimmee Man Sentenced For Smuggling Cocaine From The Dominican Republic To Florida

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

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Roman Batista (38, Kissimmee) to five years in federal prison for importing cocaine into the United States. Batista had pleaded guilty on September 25, 2023.

According to court documents, on July 10, 2023, Batista flew from the Dominican Republic to the Orlando International Airport. After securing his checked luggage from the baggage claim area, Batista was referred for a bag examination. Customs and Border Protection Officers conducted an examination of Batista’s luggage wherein 2,994 grams of cocaine was located hidden in a speaker. 

“CBP is focused on attacking every link in the global illegal narcotic trafficking chain. The diligent work by our CBP Officers prevented these illicit drugs from ever finding their way on to the street of Orlando or beyond,” stated Miami/Tampa Director of Field Operations Carlos Martel. “One of CBP’s main mission is to relentlessly prevent the flow of illicit narcotics into our nation and our job is performed 24/7.”

“This sentencing is a testament to Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to stop those who exploit our nations travel system to further their illicit narcotic distribution networks,” said HSI Orlando Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Pezzutti. “The outstanding law enforcement partnership we have with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Orlando International Airport has ensured this criminal will now face the consequences of his actions.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie A. McNeff.

Updated January 23, 2024

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