November 25, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (954) 660-4500
Leader Of Interstate Cocaine Smuggling Organization Sentenced To More Than Ten Years In Federal Prison
TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Jose Perez-(46, Michoacán, Mexico) to 10 years and 1 month in federal prison for conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He pleaded guilty on July 29, 2014.
According to court documents, Perez-Osorio worked through others to recruit and manage drug and money couriers. In 2010, he attempted to recruit an undercover Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (UC) to work for him as a drug courier. Perez-Osorio’s plan was for the UC to first register a vehicle in Alabama and then drive to Houston and pick up multiple kilograms of cocaine. The operation never took place.
On June 29, 2011, deputies from the Jefferson (Texas) Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle bearing an Alabama license plate. The car was occupied by two women. During the traffic stop, deputies received consent to search and located and seized 7.5 kilograms of cocaine, which was hidden in an after-market compartment. The two women had been recruited in Hillsborough County by a co-conspirator to work as drug and money couriers for Perez-Osorio. When stopped, the women were attempting to transport the cocaine from Texas to central Florida.
On October 28, 2013, deputies from the Orange (Florida) Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle Perez-Osorio was driving. Perez-Osorio did not have a valid driver’s license and was arrested. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a hidden compartment behind the passenger side airbag containing one kilogram of cocaine and approximately $221,250. Perez-Osorio admitted to owning the car.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office as part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation. 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 was prosecuted by United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.