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Press Release

Cocaine seizure in Augusta raises Savannah port total to more than $53 million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
More than a ton of cocaine has been seized in port shipments since October 2018

SAVANNAH, GA: Renewed action to scrutinize shipments into the growing Port of Savannah have led to significant recent drug seizures, including two arrests and more than 20 kilos of cocaine seized in a weekend raid at an Augusta warehouse.

Jimmy Alexander Pujols, 35, and Fausto Mendez Ramos, 40, are charged in a federal complaint with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine and Possession with Intent to Distribute 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine after their arrests Friday, June 7, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented, “Drug distribution networks moving their loads by sea, often hide their drugs in cargo containers, as was the case in this investigation. This case is a perfect illustration of the battle DEA and its law enforcement counterparts face when trying to prevent dangerous drugs from entering our country and ultimately hitting the streets of our communities. As a result of DEA’s unwavering commitment to protect communities and through the strength of its law enforcement partnerships, this poison never reached its intended users.”

“Identifying and intercepting transnational drug traffickers is one of Homeland Security Investigations’ highest priorities to protect the public from the serious harm these criminals inflict without any regard for the violence and public health damage they cause,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI Atlanta Nick S. Annan. ”While transnational criminal organizations continually seek vulnerabilities to U.S. border controls, this case illustrates the excellent interagency coordination that exists between federal, state and local law enforcement partners to identify and stop them at the Port of Savannah.”

“This case exemplifies the commitment of CBP’s partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement and other key stakeholders to protect the American public,” said Donald F. Yando, Director of Field Operations for the Atlanta Field Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree, who has two investigators assigned to the Augusta DEA Task Force, lauded the DEA/RCSO’s continued partnership. “This operation and associated seizures reinforce our commitment to remove dangerous drugs from the streets of Augusta and elsewhere,” Roundtree said.

A criminal complaint contains only charges. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys E. Greg Gilluly Jr. and Marcela Mateo.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer (Contractor): 912-652-4422

Updated June 12, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 59-19