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Press Release

Puerto Rican Man Sentenced To Over Thirteen Years In Prison For Drug Trafficking

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

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Emmanuel Martinez Vega, 27, of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, has been sentenced to serve more than thirteen years in federal prison followed by five years’ supervised release after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The sentence was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“Our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners work tirelessly to keep us safe by removing addictive and deadly controlled substances from our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “This sentence demonstrates our commitment to support their efforts through the investigation and vigorous prosecution of criminals who would bring drugs into North Florida.”

In May 2021, local investigators received information regarding a drug trafficker receiving large quantities of cocaine through the mail from Puerto Rico.  The Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service worked in concert with the local investigators to further identify the conspirators and establish a historical record of the cocaine-laded parcels being shipped to Gainesville from Puerto Rico. As a result of the combined investigative efforts, Vega was held accountable for trafficking approximately 129 kilograms of cocaine between 2018 and June 2022. Authorities were able to seize a total of 12 kilograms of cocaine and tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the investigation.

“Ridding our communities of this poison and ensuring the safety and health of our citizens is one of DEA’s top priorities,” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “The success of this investigation is a direct result of the tireless efforts of these dedicated investigators and highlights our continued commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to protect our Florida communities.” 

“We will continue to work with our partners to take deadly drugs off our streets,” said Miami Division U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Inspector in Charge Juan Vargas. “Preventing the use of the nation’s mail system for illegal activities or illicit gains is a primary focus of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”

This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Elsey prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845
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Updated March 28, 2023

Drug Trafficking