January 10, 2020
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (571) 362-2887
Colombian national sentenced to more than 24 years for conspiring to send more than 12,000 kilograms of cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel
TAMPA, Fla. - Jimmy Riascos-Riascos, 44, Colombia, South America, was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine on board vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Riascos-Riascos had pleaded guilty on July 18, 2019.
According to court records, Riascos-Riascos was a member of a transnational criminal organization that dispatched self-propelled semi-submersible vessels from Colombia into the Pacific Ocean, destined for Sinaloa Cartel members in Oaxaca, Mexico. Riascos-Riascos was involved in installing the engines on these SPSS vessels, recruiting mechanics to travel onboard, and providing instructions to crewmembers on how to operate the engines. Two of these SPSS vessels were interdicted in international waters resulting in the seizure of more than 12,000 kilograms of cocaine and the prosecution of the crewmembers in the Middle District of Florida.
Riascos-Rascos further admitted to being a crewmember on an SPSS that successfully reached its destination in Mexico, in May 2015.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa District Office Panama Express Strike Force, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force comprised of agents and analysts from the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Interagency Task Force South. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.