News Release
August 14, 2008
For Information Contact,
Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Mexican Citizen Indicted for Smuggling 19.3kg
of Cocaine Hidden in The Roof of His Vehicle

AUG 14 -- PHOENIX - On Tuesday, August 12, 2008, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a two count indictment against Samuel Esquer-Dominguez, 44, of the Republic Mexico, for a violation of Importation of a Controlled Substance and Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine.

The indictment alleges that on or about July 31, 2008 Samuel Esquer-Dominguez imported and possessed with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.  The defendant was stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint as he traveled northbound on Highway 95.   Upon secondary inspection, cocaine was discovered concealed in the roof of the vehicle.

A conviction for both counts each carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine or both.  In determining an actual sentence, the assigned judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges.  The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt.  An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Border Patrol. The prosecution is being handled by Howard D. Sukenic Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

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