FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2012
Contact: Public Information Officer
Guatemalan Narcotics Trafficker Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
AUG 22 (MIAMI, Fla.) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announce that yesterday a federal district court judge sentenced convicted Guatemalan narcotics trafficker Mario Ponce-Rodriguez to a 25-year prison sentence and imposed an $8.8 million judgment.
In May 2012, a Miami jury found Ponce-Rodriguez guilty of conspiring to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine with the knowledge that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States. According to the evidence at trial, Ponce-Rodriguez distributed or conspired to distribute at least 9,000 kilograms of cocaine. Ponce-Rodriguez was detained by Honduran authorities in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in May of 2011. The United States obtained Ponce-Rodriguez’s extradition from Honduras late last year.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated: “In an effort to thwart the flow of narcotics from South America to the United States, DEA has focused on identifying, indicting and extraditing the top cell leaders operating in Central America. Mario Ponce-Rodriguez operated one of the most significant cells from Guatemala. This should put others on notice that DEA will leave no stone unturned to bringing narco-traffickers to justice.”
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated: “The conviction of Ponce-Rodriguez was the product of considerable international and domestic cooperation and stands as a shining example of the commitment of the United States and other nations in the region to pursue drug traffickers wherever they might hide.”
The case is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.
Mr. Trouville would like to thank the DEA Tegucigalpa Country Office and the Guatemala Country Office for their assistance in this investigation and commended the prosecution efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.