MANHATTAN, NY. - Wilbert L. Plummer, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") and Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Jose Mosquera-Prado, 36, a top lieutenant of Colombian drug kingpin Francisco Gonzalez Uribe, was convicted yesterday in Manhattan federal court of conspiring to import and distribute cocaine and heroin. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan presided over the two-week jury trial.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "The conviction of Jose Mosquera- Prado – a top lieutenant to narcotics trafficking kingpin, Francisco Gonzalez Uribe – is a significant victory in our campaign to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States and to prosecute those who seek to profit from distributing their poison in this country. It is also the latest example of the powerful results we can achieve when we work together with our law enforcement partners at home and abroad."
According to the trial evidence and other documents filed in the case:
From 2007 through 2009, Mosquera-Prado was a top lieutenant of Gonzalez Uribe's international narcotics-trafficking organization, which shipped tons of cocaine and heroin to various locations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and other countries. The narcotics were then transported to the United States and various locations in Europe.
During two undercover operations in early 2009 -- with the cooperation and assistance of the governments of Colombia and the Dominican Republic -- the DEA secured large quantities of cocaine and heroin from members of Mosquera-Prado's narcotics-trafficking organization. Mosquera-Prado was intercepted on recorded telephone calls personally orchestrating the shipment of the narcotics, which were destined for sale in New York City. The cocaine and heroin that was seized by the DEA during these operations had an estimated wholesale value of approximately $2,000,000.
In addition, in numerous recorded telephone calls and emails, Mosquera-Prado negotiated and coordinated the shipments of several multi-ton loads of cocaine through South America and the Caribbean to the United States and other countries. Furthermore, Mosquera-Prado sent two of his criminal associates to the Dominican Republic to examine a remote military landing strip that he intended to use to land aircraft carrying more than a ton of cocaine at a time. He also sought to use a number of large, private aircraft -- including a DC-8, a DC-10, a Grumman 2, and a King Air 300 -- to transport massive shipments of cocaine. Mosquera-Prado was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to import cocaine and heroin into the United States, and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison. Mosquera-Prado is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Kaplan on April 20, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.
Gonzalez Uribe was designated a Consolidated Priority Organization Target ("CPOT") by the U.S. Department of Justice. A CPOT designation is reserved for the most dangerous and prolific narcotics traffickers in the world. Gonzalez Uribe was arrested in the Dominican Republic in 2009 and expelled to the United States. In June 2010, Gonzalez Uribe pled guilty to narcotics importation and distribution conspiracy charges. He was sentenced in November 2010 by Judge Kaplan to 30 years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and specifically cited the DEA Caribbean Field Division, the DEA Bogotá Country Office, the DEA Cartagena Resident Office, the DEA Santo Domingo Country Office, and the DEA New York Field Division. He also thanked the Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and all other cooperating law enforcement agencies. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Government of the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Direccion Nacional de Control de Drogas, and the Dominican Air Force, and expressed his gratitude to the Government of Colombia and the Colombian Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation and prosecution of Mosquera-Prado.
The case is being handled by the Office's Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Naftalis, John P. Cronan, and Randall W. Jackson are in charge of the prosecution.