November 25, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (954) 660-4500
Colombian Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Importation Conspiracy Charge
TAMPA, Fla. - A.D. Wright, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement (DEA), Miami Field Division, and A. Lee Bentley, III, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announces that Richard Mosquera (44, Colombia, South America) today pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it would be unlawfully imported into the United (US). He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, up to a maximum term of life imprisonment. Mosquera was indicted on June 12, 2013. Mosquera was arrested in Colombia and subsequently extradited to the United States.
According to the plea agreement, on multiple occasions between 2009 and 2012, Mosquera worked with his co-defendant, Anderson Bryan Lever, and others to smuggle cocaine. Lever dispatched cocaine-laden vessels from San Andres Island, Colombia to Honduras where Mosquera received them. After Mosquera received the cocaine load, he would provide bales of US (containing as much as $500,000 each) to the mariners who had smuggled the cocaine. The mariners then smuggled the money back to San Andres Island, and then Mosquera would distribute the cocaine to others for eventual unlawful importation into the US.
This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, a standing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation, comprised of agents and analysts from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the US Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and US Southern Command's Joint Interagency Task Force South. The principal mission of the OCDETF Program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.