May 03, 2011
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (571) 262-2887
Former Medellin Cartel Associate Pleads Guilty To Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
MIAMI, FL. - Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, and Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced that defendant Sigifredo Maya, 48, of Medellin, Colombia, pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(a)(1). Sentencing for Maya is scheduled for July 28, 2011 before U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore.
In 1994, Sigifredo Maya was indicted with his three brothers in the Southern District of Florida on charges related to drug trafficking on behalf of the late Pablo Escobar and the now-defunct Medellin cocaine cartel. On March 18, 2011, Sigifredo Maya was detained by Panamanian authorities while attempting to travel to Mexico, and then flown to Miami, Florida, where he was arrested by the DEA.
According to statements made before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres, between 1979 and 1994, defendant Sigifredo Maya and his co-conspirator brothers, Luis Carlos Maya, Jorge Maya, and Juan Maya, under the instruction of Pablo Escobar, were dispatched to Miami to direct the Medellin cartel’s efforts in the importation and distribution of multiple-thousand ton shipments of cocaine throughout the United States.
In support of these distribution efforts, court records show that the Maya brothers owned several properties and businesses in South Florida on Pablo Escobar’s behalf, and used these entities to foster cocaine shipments into Miami, and conceal money shipments back to the Medellin cartel in Colombia. For example, in November 1989, Sigifredo Maya directed a money courier to move more than $3,000,000 dollars, stuffed inside six cardboard bankers’ boxes, from New York City, to Miami, Florida. These drug proceeds where then flown to Colombia for deposit in accounts related to Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel.
Court records also indicate that the Maya brothers served as enforcers for Pablo Escobar in the United States. This was demonstrated in December 1988, where an associate who was tasked with guarding a warehouse in Miami that contained more than 500 kilograms of cocaine claimed the shipment was stolen by a rival drug gang. The Maya brothers interrogated this associate and then promptly sent him back to Medellin to personally explain the loss to Pablo Escobar.