Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

October 31, 2011

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

Member Of Organization That Smuggled Cocaine On Commercial Airlines Sentenced To 70 Months

NEWARK, N.J. - Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and Paul J. Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced that an extradited member of an organization that smuggled cocaine aboard commercial airlines from the West Indies to England via the United States was sentenced to 70 months in prison.

Romeo Folkes, 28, who was extradited from Jamaica in November 2010, had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh to a Superseding Indictment charging him with conspiracy to import and to export cocaine. Judge Cavanaugh handed down the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:

Romeo Folkes previously pleaded guilty to an international cocaine-trafficking conspiracy. He admitted that he and his brother, Roger Folkes, 40, and Mervin Francis, 36, acquired cocaine in Jamaica and St. Lucia, concealed the cocaine in luggage, and provided that cocaine-filled luggage to drug couriers who transported it by commercial airlines to Great Britain after making intermediate stops in the United States.

Romeo Folkes’ guilty plea and sentencing stem from a multi-jurisdictional and international investigation into narcotics trafficking that has resulted in multiple narcotics seizures and the charging of 13 individuals to date.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Cavanaugh sentenced Romeo Folkes to four years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees; and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell - in coordination with police officers of the West Midlands Police Complex Casework Unit in Birmingham, England - for the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for its important role.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric W. Moran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

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