MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY CHARGES TWO PORT EMPLOYEES IN PLOT TO TRAFFIC MORE THAN TWO TONS OF COCAINE AT THE PORT OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
APRIL 27, 2011 ELLEN DAVIS, CARLY SULLIVAN,

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special
Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Drug
Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and PETER T. EDGE, the
Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark Office of the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security
Investigations (“HSI”), announced charges today against DOMINIC
GUIDO, a longshoreman, and ROBERT ROSELLI, an employee of a
private company that conducts unloading operations at the
Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal in Elizabeth, New Jersey
(“PAMT”), for participating in a conspiracy to distribute more
than 2,000 kilograms — or two tons — of cocaine, which was to
be smuggled into the United States through the Port of New York
and New Jersey (the “Port”). The charges arise out of a sixmonth
investigation into criminal conduct connected to the Port,
which manages PAMT. GUIDO was arrested today and is expected to
appear in Manhattan federal court later today. ROSELLI was
arrested today in North Carolina, and is expected to appear in
federal court there later today.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said:
“Longshoremen serve as key gatekeepers for our ports and our
borders, regulating what comes into our country and what stays
out. These defendants allegedly corrupted these important
positions and were in the pocket of drug smugglers who poison our
neighborhoods. Today’s arrests demonstrate that this Office,
along with our law enforcement partners, is committed to stopping
the entry of narcotics into the United States, be it by plane,
boat or any other method.”
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge JOHN P. GILBRIDE said:
“This investigation led our agents throughout the city of New
York, down the Eastern Seaboard to Puerto Rico and back. Not only
are these defendants charged with allegedly distributing drugs,
their breach of security while on duty is of grave concern to law
enforcement and the public. We cannot afford, nor will we
tolerate individuals who for personal enrichment place public
safety in jeopardy. Port security is essential to securing
public safety and trust.”
ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark Office
Peter T. Edge said: “The importation of illegal narcotics through
our ports into the United States will not be tolerated. We will
continue working together with our law enforcement partners to
identify and dismantle drug trafficking organizations to keep
illegal drugs from being distributed throughout our communities.
Today’s arrests underscore our collective resolve at combating
these crimes.”
According to the Complaint, unsealed today in Manhattan
federal court:
An extensive DEA-led wiretap investigation revealed
that a local drug-trafficking operation (the “Local DTO”)
smuggled hundred-kilogram shipments of cocaine into the United
States hidden inside secure shipping containers traveling on
ships being unloaded at PAMT. The Local DTO relied upon GUIDO
and ROSELLI, who both worked at PAMT, to retrieve the narcotics
from the shipping containers, which were located in secure areas
of the Port. GUIDO allegedly was responsible for cutting the
locks on the containers to retrieve the narcotics inside, while
ROSELLI monitored their status. At one point during the
investigation, GUIDO gave one of the members of the Local DTO
access to a secure area of the Port so that he could be
photographed in front of a shipping container. GUIDO also
provided the Local DTO member one of the vests worn by the
longshoreman who unload ships at the Port.
According to the Complaint, GUIDO and ROSELLI discussed
a shipment of 20 kilograms of cocaine with a confidential source
providing information to the Government (“CS-1”). The shipment
was expected to be located inside a container onboard a ship
arriving at PAMT from Puerto Rico on or about April 22, 2011.
Both GUIDO and ROSELLI had discussions with CS-1 that were
recorded about the weight of the expected shipment and the unique
number of the container in which it would be located, so that the
shipment could be retrieved for CS-1 by GUIDO and ROSELLI.
Agents from HSI then placed a suitcase containing approximately
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20 kilograms of sham cocaine into the shipping container
identified by CS-1. This sham cocaine was unloaded from the
container on April 22, 2011 and delivered by GUIDO and ROSELLI to
CS-1 later that same evening. ROSELLI later had a discussion
with CS-1 where he agreed to smuggle as much as 2,000 additional
kilograms of cocaine through the Port.
* * *
GUIDO, 47, and ROSELLI, 44, are each charged with one
count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. This charge carries a
mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum
sentence of life in prison.
The charges announced today evidence the continued
commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern
District of New York to combating corruption and other criminal
conduct at the Port. The Office previously obtained consent
decrees against several International Longshoremen’s Association
(“ILA”) locals — ILA Locals 1804-1 and 1588 in New Jersey; ILA
824, 1809, and 1909 in Manhattan; and ILA Local 1814 in Brooklyn
— as well as several other entities and individuals operating at
the Port, barring them from racketeering activity and related
criminal conduct. In addition, the Office is also currently
working with a monitor appointed by the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York to protect ILA Local 1588 in
Bayonne, New Jersey, from the influence of organized crime and
other criminal conduct.
Mr. BHARARA thanked all of the law enforcement agencies
involved in the investigation for their outstanding work. He
added that the investigation is ongoing.
This case is being led by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys BRIAN R. BLAIS and JAMES J. PASTORE, JR.
are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
11-111 ###
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