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Jamaican Drug Kingpin Convicted After Seven Week Jury Trial

LAWFUEL.com – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, announced today the convictions of defendants Leebert Ramcharan, a U.S. White House-designated Drug Kingpin, and Donovan Williams, another Jamaican national, after a seven-week jury trial before the Honorable Judge Patricia A. Seitz, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Both defendants were convicted of conspiracy to import and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 963 and 846, respectively. They face a maximum statutory sentence of life imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 23, 2008 at 8:30a.m.

Ramcharan and Williams were arrested in the Montego Bay area of Jamaica in 2004, and extradited from Jamaica to the United States in 2007, after their extradition was approved by the Jamaican Supreme Court. The trial against Ramcharan and Williams commenced January 15, 2008, and included testimony from more than fifteen (15) witnesses, including officers from the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF), the Royal Bahamian Police Force (RBPF), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and civilian witnesses from Colombia, the United States, and Jamaica. In addition, the government introduced more than one hundred items of evidence, including wiretaps on the telephones of the co-conspirators by the Colombian government, and the Bahamian government in 2002-2003.

According to the evidence presented at trial, defendant Ramcharan was the leader of a sophisticated operation in Jamaica. From 1998 through 2004, this cocaine smuggling organization received as much as fifteen (15) thousand kilograms of cocaine imported via go fast vessels from the Northern Coast of Colombia. The cocaine was then stored in Jamaica, and subsequently it was transported to the Bahamas on boats and airplanes. Ultimately, the cocaine was imported into the U.S. for distribution and sale in South Florida.

Mr. Acosta commended the extraordinary cooperation of the Colombian National Police, the Jamaican Constabulary Force, the Royal Bahamian Police Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, Jamaican Country Office, Bahamian Country Office and Bogota Country Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alicia Shick and Arthur Wyatt.

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.

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