Skip to main content
Press Release

Jury Convicts Four Drug Smugglers Attempting to Smuggle 182 Kilograms of Cocaine Into United States Territory

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

On June 28, 2019, a jury in the Southern District of Alabama convicted four men, Angel Castro Garcia, Pedro Dino Cedado Nunez, Manely Enriquez, and Mike Castro Martinez, all Dominican Republic nationals, for attempting to smuggle 182 kilograms of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. All four defendants will be sentenced on October 7, 2019 by United States District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock.

The case arose when, on December 24, 2018, a United States Border Patrol aircraft spotted a suspected drug smuggling vessel operating in international waters northeast of the Dominican Republic. The vessel was travelling on a known drug smuggling route to Puerto Rico. The aircraft notified the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the USCG Cutter “Richard Dixon” proceeded toward the drug smuggling vessel. The USCG Cutter then launched an Over the Horizon (OTH) Zodiac type vessel from the Cutter with a four man crew.

The OTH vessel interdicted the 25-foot Yola type drug smuggling vessel operating in international waters northeast of the Dominican Republic.  The drug smugglers attempted to jettison most of the cocaine when they spotted the USCG OTH vessel. The four man Coast Guard crew recovered approximately 182 kilograms of cocaine in the water and on board the drug smuggling vessel. The cocaine had a retail value of nearly $30 million dollars in the United States.

The trial occurred before United States District Court Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock on June 27 and June 28, 2019. The case was prosecuted by George F. May, Deputy Criminal Chief and Luis F. Peral, Lead Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Attorney. Appellate Chief Scott Gray also provided invaluable assistance on the case.

Updated July 16, 2019