Shreveport Couple Pleads Guilty To Importing Illegal Drugs Into The United States While On A Cruise
SHREVEPORT, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Robert W. Scogin, 52, and Peggy S. Scogin, 55, both of Shreveport, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to importing 9,000 pills illegally into the United States.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Robert Scogin and Peggy Scogin admitted to importing codeine and dihydrocodeine aboard a cruise ship returning to the United States. United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) determined that the co-defendants purchased approximately 9,000 pills of Schedule II, III, and IV narcotics in Belize. Upon reentering the United States, they intended to use the drugs for personal use as well as to sell them to others. Their plan was discovered when some of the pills were found in a locker used by Robert Scogin at his job. After being interviewed by law enforcement, the couple confessed and told investigators that they were able to get the pills on the ship by wrapping them in dirty clothes and hiding them in their luggage to avoid detection.
“Smuggling drugs into the United States is a serious crime,” Finley stated. “Selling prescription drugs without knowing what they really are and without knowing how they will affect the person buying them in an illegal market is extremely dangerous. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect public safety by prosecuting those who illegally import and sell prescription drugs.”
"Homeland Security Investigations special agents in Shreveport along with the Shreveport Police Department Narcotics Unit worked long hours to dismantle this smuggling operation, recover dangerous foreign manufactured narcotics, and bring this investigation to a conclusion,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer Jr. “Stopping the flow of illegal drugs is a priority for HSI, and we will continue to focus resources on this important effort.”
The defendants face up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release. A sentencing date of January 16, 2014 was set.
United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations and the Shreveport Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg is prosecuting the case.