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Press Release

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces The Arrest Of Two Venezuelan Nationals For Conspiring To Import

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

            Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Mark Hamlet, Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations Division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), today announced that EFRAIN ANTONIO CAMPO FLORES and FRANQUI FRANCISCO FLORES DE FREITAS were arrested in the Republic of Haiti on Tuesday and brought to the United States based on a charge that they conspired to import cocaine into the United States.  CAMPO FLORES and FLORES DE FREITAS will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott later today.

            According to the allegations in the Indictment[1], which was unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, CAMPO FLORES, 29, and FLORES DE FREITAS, 30, conspired with others between October 2015 and the present to violate U.S. narcotics laws prohibiting the importation of cocaine.  Specifically, the Indictment charges CAMPO FLORES and FLORES DE FREITAS with conspiring to (i) import five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States from a foreign country; and (ii) distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine knowing and intending that it would be imported into the United States.  The charge in the Indictment carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

            Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, Bilateral Investigations Unit, and New York Strike Force.  Mr. Bharara also thanked the DEA’s Port-au-Prince Country Office, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's National Targeting Center, DEA’s Airwing, the Government of the Republic of Haiti and the Haitian National Police, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for their ongoing assistance.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emil J. Bove III, Mathew J. Laroche, Michael D. Lockard, and Brendan F. Quigley are in charge of the prosecution.

            The charge contained in the Indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Updated November 12, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-292