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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Leader Of Colombian Cocaine Trafficking Organization Sentenced To Over 24 Years

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Roberto Andrade-Caceres (47, Cali, Colombia), a/k/a “Yiyo,” to over 24 years and 4 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine while onboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Andrade-Caceres was indicted on May 4, 2017, arrested in Colombia, and subsequently extradited to the United States. On May 2019, he pleaded guilty to the offense.

According to court records, since at least 2014, Andrade-Caceres was an organizer and leader of a Cali, Columbia based drug-trafficking organization (“DTO”) engaged in the maritime transportation of large quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Panama and Costa Rica using small go-fast style vessels. Andrade-Caceres directed, managed, and oversaw virtually all aspects of the maritime cocaine-smuggling operation, including organizing and supervising at least twelve maritime cocaine smuggling ventures, two of which were interdicted by the United States Coast Guard.

In 2015 and 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted two go-fast smuggling vessels dispatched from Colombia by the DTO. During those interdictions, the Coast Guard seized approximately 684 kilograms of cocaine. The crewmen aboard these vessels were arrested and prosecuted in the Middle District of Florida.

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, the 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 Office of International Affairs of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice provided significant support with the defendant’s extradition. 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 Special Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas DeRenzo.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated December 12, 2019