Horse Trainer Indicted And Arrested For Smuggling
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Gilberto Escobar-López, horse trainer at the Hipódromo Camarero, formerly known as El Nuevo Comandante, horse racing track located in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico, was arrested by special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for smuggling goods (illegal animal drugs) into the United States, announced U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The defendant is facing one count of Smuggling Goods into the United States and fifteen counts for Introducing into Interstate Commerce Adulterated Animal Drugs.
According to the indictment, on January 5, the defendant concealed and facilitated the transportation of illegal animal drugs knowing that said merchandise had been imported and brought into the United States contrary to law. Escobar-López utilized wooden crates shipped from Panama to Puerto Rico with false bottoms which contained illegal animal drugs and products. These illegal animal drugs and products were to be used on horses and the Hipódromo Camarero Race Track and were meant to be used at, but not limited to, the 2016 Clásico del Caribe Race at Hipódromo Camarero.
The indictment includes charges for drugs that the defendant introduced or delivered into interstate commerce from Panama to Puerto Rico, knowing that they were unsafe animal drugs. These were: Norandren 50, Ganabol 50, Nabolic, Nabolic Strong, Estimil SI, CH 77, Batacas, Coagulante Chinfield, Tonicor RE, Neuromax 1.5%, Clenpulmin, MV Chinfield, Hepato Factor A, Arterol, and Bronquinort.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Zander, from the International Narcotics Unit. The case was investigated by ICE-HSI, the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, CBP and Airport Investigations and Tactical Team (AirTAT). The AirTAT investigates international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that utilize the aviation domain to smuggle narcotics and currency into and through the United States.
The maximum penalties for these offenses are 20 years of imprisonment. An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.