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Press Release

Miami Man Sentenced For Synthetic Drug Distribution And Firearm Convictions

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

Jean Baptiste Joseph, 26, of Miami, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Federico A. Moreno to 55 years in prison, following his trial convictions for possession with intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of ethylone, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1); and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Carlos A. Canino, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, Antonio Brooklen, Chief, Miami Gardens Police Department, and Amos Rojas, Jr., United States Marshal, U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), made the announcement.

According to trial evidence and court documents, on June 5, 2015, a U.S. Marshals Task Force went to a residence in Miami Gardens, Florida, to arrest Joseph in connection with a separate criminal investigation.  The U.S. Marshals took Joseph into custody in his bedroom and, as he was being arrested, they saw in plain view, a loaded AK-47 pistol in the open closet and two Ziploc bags containing more than 1 kilogram of ethylone, a synthetic narcotic, on a television stand.

The Miami Gardens Police Department’s subsequent investigation revealed that, in addition to the assault rifle and ethylone, Joseph also possessed a Ziploc bag with 70 grams of marijuana, a 100-round drum magazine (loaded with 65 AK-47 rounds of ammunition), a high capacity 9 mm magazine, two boxes of 9 mm ammunition, empty pill capsules, empty baggies with marijuana logos, a boot stuffed with money, a digital scale, and Joseph’s passport, Social Security card and Florida identification card.

During recorded phone calls following his arrest, Joseph told his associates that he was caught in his bedroom with his “stick,” which referred to his AK-47, and his “work,” which referred to the narcotics.

Mr. Ferrer commended the efforts of ATF, USMS, and the Miami Gardens Police Department in the investigation and prosecution of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Osborne and Michael Thakur. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated January 27, 2016

Drug Trafficking