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Press Release

Owner of Exporting Company Pled Guilty to Smuggling Goods from the United States

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

On June 12, 2019, Juan Carlos Rodriguez Espinoza, 53, of Miramar, Florida, pled guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States, Section 554.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Diane J. Sabatino, Director, Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

At sentencing, Rodriguez faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 13, 2019 at 1:30 pm before

U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez, in Miami, Florida (Case No. 19CR20239).

According to documents filed with the court and statements made during the pea, Rodriguez was the owner and operator of Rapid Export Services, LLC, (“Rapid Export”) a freight forwarding company in Miami, Florida.   From in or around March 2016 through in or around May 2016, Rodriguez received, in Miami, thirteen containers of alcohol and cigarettes that were originally shipped from Panama.  Rodriguez arranged for the thirteen containers to be held “in bond” at a bonded warehouse operated by Double Ace Cargo, Inc. (“Double Ace”), a freight forwarding company.  Subsequently, Double Ace, at Rodriguez’s request, exported the thirteen containers to the Dominican Republic. 

Before Double Ace exported the thirteen containers to the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez, based on instructions he received from his client in the Dominican Republic, instructed employees at Double Ace to change the commodity description on the outgoing bills of lading. Rodriguez instructed the employees at Double Ace to change the commodity description to the following commodities: paper, raw material, synthetic textiles or hospital supplies (as opposed to cigarettes and alcohol).  Rodriguez acted with the intent to conceal the nature of the goods from the customs authorities in the Dominican Republic.  Rodriguez knew that providing false information on the bills of lading was contrary to the laws and regulations of the United States.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of HSI Miami, HSI Dominican Republic and CBP Miami.   This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yisel Valdes.

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

Updated June 20, 2019