Guyanese national extradited to face cocaine importation charge
First extradition of a defendant from Guyana facing federal charges in the United States since 1999
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Shaun Nebblett, also known as “Shaun Wyatt” and “Dapper,” will be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara on an indictment charging him with conspiracy to import cocaine and other narcotics offenses. Nebblett was extradited to the United States from Guyana on November 6, 2020, the first from Guyana facing federal charges in the United States since 1999.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York, and Troy Miller, Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New York Field Office, announced the extradition.
“As alleged, the defendant recruited multiple individuals to fly into the United States on cocaine smuggling trips and supplied them with illegal narcotics,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. “The United States is committed to working with our international partners to dismantle the drug-trafficking organizations responsible for flooding our communities with dangerous drugs and bringing the individuals who run these operations to justice. I thank the Republic of Guyana for assisting with this extradition.” Mr. DuCharme extended his grateful appreciation to the DEA offices in Georgetown, Guyana, the United States Marshals Service, the United States Department of State, the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, and the Government of Guyana.
“This investigation exposes another insidious way traffickers smuggle drugs into our country,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Donovan. “To circumnavigate law enforcement detection, Nebblett allegedly recruited and used couriers to transport cocaine laden shoes. I applaud our federal and international law enforcement partners for their diligent work throughout this investigation.”
“Nebblett is a former police officer in Guyana, yet he operated a transnational criminal organization responsible for smuggling large quantities of cocaine into the United States. Protecting our homeland extends beyond our borders, and HSI worked tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to take out yet another threat to the security of our border and the welfare of our communities, and Neblett will have to confront the justice he was once sworn to uphold,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh.
“This case serves as a great example of collaborative law enforcement efforts to combat international narcotics trafficking conspirators. U.S. Customs and Border Protection thanks our partners at USAO, HSI, and DEA for their continued cooperation, as well as our international partners in helping to bring this fugitive to justice,” said Troy Miller, Director Field Operations in New York.
As alleged in court filings, between August 2015 and September 2015, Nebblett and others conspired to import 500 grams or more of a substance containing cocaine into the United States from Guyana. Specifically, in August 2015, Nebblett, who was a former police officer in Guyana, recruited an individual (“Courier 1”) to smuggle drugs into the United States in exchange for $8,000 and provided Courier 1 with money to purchase a plane ticket from Guyana to John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, departing on August 28, 2015. Nebblett packed Courier 1’s suitcase with seven pairs of shoes that concealed cocaine and directed Courier 1 to rent a hotel room near JFK. On August 28, 2015, upon arrival at JFK, Courier 1 was stopped by law enforcement officers who examined his luggage and discovered the cocaine in the shoes. A subsequent DEA laboratory test revealed that the shoes contained approximately 1.436 kilograms of cocaine.
The extradition of Nebblett is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, HSI and the DEA. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
The charges in the indictment is are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Nebblett faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section. Assistant United States Attorney Alicia N. Washington is in charge of the prosecution. The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs handled the extradition in this matter.