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Press Release

East Bay Resident Convicted Of Abetting Airport Smuggler Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Lemack Bellot Attempted to Help Cocaine Smuggler Pass Through Bay Area Airports But Client Turned Out To Be Government Agent

SAN FRANCISCO - Lemack Bellot was sentenced to ten years in prison for attempting to aid and abet possession with intent to distribute cocaine in connection with a scheme to smuggle drugs through San Francisco International Airport (SFO), announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Bob P. Beris.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Vince Chhabria, United States District Judge.  

Bellot, 43, of Hayward, Calif., was convicted of the crimes on March 4, 2022, after a week-long trial.  At trial, the government demonstrated Bellot attempted to facilitate the smuggling of cocaine through SFO in May 2018 and in November 2018.  Unbeknownst to Bellot, the shipments were not actually cocaine because he was negotiating with a confidential source (CS) working for the DEA.  The DEA was investigating Bellot based on information that Bellot had been paying airport employees to allow drugs to be smuggled past airport security.  The CS, posing as an Atlanta-based drug trafficker, met with Bellot at a bar in Hayward, Calif., where the two discussed using Bellot’s connections at Bay Area airports to smuggle drugs.  Over the next eight months, Bellot made arrangements on six occasions in an attempt to assist the CS to smuggle drugs through Bay Area airports.    

In February 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Bellot for attempting to aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(ii)(II), and attempting to aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(ii)(II).  In March of 2022, a federal jury found Bellot guilty of both counts.  

Papers submitted by the government after Bellot’s conviction describe additional facts considered by the court in connection with Bellot’s sentencing.  According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Bellot tried on multiple occasions to sell heroin to the CS and to buy cocaine from him.  In addition, shortly before his originally scheduled sentencing in July 2022, Bellot attempted to flee the United States.  Specifically, Bellot boarded a commercial cargo freighter that was leaving from Miami, Fla. and was bound for Haiti.  The U.S. Coast Guard learned of Bellot’s plans after which agents arrested Bellot aboard the vessel. 

In addition to the 10-year prison term, Judge Chhabria ordered Bellot to serve a term of five years of supervised release.  
Assistant United States Attorneys Molly A. Smolen and Daniel Pastor prosecuted the case.  This investigation and prosecution is part of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement (OCDETF) Section, which identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.  

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DEA. 

Updated September 27, 2022