JULY 02 (MACON, Ga.) Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Bertin Rivera, age 43, of Lumber City, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty today to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 382 kilograms of cocaine. The plea was entered in the United States District Court in Macon, Georgia, before the Honorable C. Ashley Royal.
As part of his guilty plea, Rivera stipulated that on September 12, 2012, he orchestrated the shipment of 382 kilograms of cocaine from a warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia to his residence in Lumber City, Georgia. The drugs were concealed in boxes of tomatoes. Federal and local authorities executed a search warrant at the residence. The search uncovered 191 kilograms of cocaine inside the tomato boxes and 191 kilograms buried in a plastic container on land adjacent to Rivera’s property. The wholesale value of the drugs is estimated to be ten million dollars.
Rivera faces a maximum statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of ten years up to a maximum of life in prison without parole. Sentencing is expected to take place on September 17, 2013.
According to the United States Attorney, this is the largest single seizure of cocaine in the district in the last 20 years.
“Taking drugs off the street and putting drug dealers in jail remains a top priority for us. The people of Middle Georgia should feel good that the 382 kilograms of cocaine that were seized will never make it into the hands of our children,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.
The case was investigated by the DEA, Department of Homeland Security, and the Lumber City Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles L. Calhoun.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.