News Release
November 24, 2010
Erin McKenzie-Mulvey
Public Information Officer
(212) 337-2906

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrival of Honduran
Narcotics Trafficker to The United States

NOV 24
- (Manhattan, NY) JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Field Division ("DEA") and PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the arrival of OSCAR JIMENEZ-ALFARO, who was returned from Panama to face charges relating to the attempted importation of approximately 2,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. JIMENEZ, 54, is a citizen of Honduras and was arrested in Panama in June of 2010. JIMENEZ is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. District Judge SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN on November 29, 2010.

According to the Indictment and other documents:

JIMENEZ-ALFARO is a member of a drug smuggling organization primarily based in Honduras and has helped coordinate multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine intended for distribution in the United States. Typically, the cocaine was shipped from Panama to Honduras in hidden compartments of fishing boats or other vessels with a legal cover-load. The cocaine was then transferred from the vessel at sea via go-fast boats in Honduran waters and transported over land via tractor-trailers to Guatemala and then to Mexico and into the United States.

In or about June 2006, JIMENEZ conspired to transport 2,000 kilograms of cocaine destined for the United States, using a fishing vessel named the "Treasure of the Sea." After the vessel departed Panama with a cover-load of appliances and other items, the crews of go-fast boats transferred the cocaine from the go-fast boats into a hidden compartment on the Treasure of the Sea. The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted the Treasure of the Sea as it traveled to meet JIMENEZ near Corn Island, Nicaragua.

After a preliminary search failed to locate the cocaine and custody of the vessel was transferred to the Nicaraguan Navy, the vessel sank before a complete search could be conducted. JIMENEZ and his co-conspirators unsuccessfully attempted to recover the cocaine on board the vessel. JIMENEZ is charged with one count of conspiring to import narcotics into the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN.

Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the DEA's New York Field Division Group D-34 and Tampa District Office, the DEA's Panama City Country Office and Tegucigalpa Country Office of Honduras, and the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs. Mr. BHARARA also thanked the Panamanian National Police, the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, the Department of Justice, INTERPOL, U.S. National Central Bureau and Panama Offices, and the United States Coast Guard.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office's Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney CARRIE H. COHEN is in charge of the prosecution. The charge contained in the Indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.