Guatemalan Man Pleads Guilty: Smuggled Heroin Inside Lollipops
May 24 – (Orlando, FL) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, and Robert E. O’Neill, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announced that Rafael Eduardo Quinonez-Jimenez, 45, of Guatemala, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin. Quinonez-Jimenez faces a minimum penalty of 10 years, up to life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Quinonez-Jimenez was arrested and charged by a criminal complaint in March 2012.
On March 2, 2012, Quinonez-Jimenez arrived at the Orlando International Airport, on a flight that originated in Guatemala City, Guatemala. According to court documents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers were conducting a secondary inspection when officers discovered numerous bags of what appeared to be candy. The packages, located within Quinonez-Jimenez’s luggage, contained 172 lollipops. Each lollipop was individually wrapped with a thin outer candy shell concealing a ball of heroin. The total heroin contained in the 172 lollipops was approximately three kilograms.This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.