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Press Release

Colombian National Admits Conspiring to Transport Hundreds of Kilograms of Cocaine into United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Colombian citizen today admitted conspiring to import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Edgar Ruiz-Gomez, aka “Gono,” 57, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to count one of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to import five kilograms or more of cocaine.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2016 through January 2020, Ruiz-Gomez and others conspired to import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine. Ruiz-Gomez acknowledged holding a managerial role in this conspiracy, which involved more than five individuals.

The count to which Ruiz-Gomez pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz in Newark, and special agents and task force officers with the DEA operating in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs; the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section’s Judicial Attaché’s Office at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota; Colombian law enforcement authorities; and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Farhana C. Melo of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.

Updated May 16, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-183