30 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced that defendant, Serge Edouard, was sentenced today after being convicted by a jury of conspiring to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States, conspiring to commit money laundering, and nine individual counts of money laundering.
Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Edouard to a term of life imprisonment and a forfeiture of $17.6 million.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from 1998 until 2004, Edouard was the head of a large-scale cocaine smuggling organization that imported thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Haiti into Miami and New York. This smuggling organization returned millions of dollars in drug proceeds from the United States back to Edouard in Haiti. Edouard then laundered those drug proceeds in a variety of ways, including paying corrupt high-ranking Haitian officials to protect his drug activities.
United States Attorney Acosta stated, “Large-scale narcotics prosecutions remain a top federal priority in South Florida. This sentence is a great victory in the war on drugs. By bringing to justice the senior-most leadership of these large scale narcotics operations, we can most effectively work to rid South Florida of narcotics trafficking.”
“The DEA’s commitment to bringing these defendants to justice knows no borders,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. “The sentence handed down by the Court today shows that international borders no longer provide safety and security for drug traffickers. The DEA will continue to aggressively pursue all the members of these drug organizations both domestically and internationally. Today we took a step in the right direction, but it is by no means the end of our journey for justice.”
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lynn Kirkpatrick, Matthew Axelrod, and Michelle Alvarez and USDOJ Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section Attorneys John Sellers and Thomas Pinder.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.