Cocaine Trafficking Ring Broken Up

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that five defendants were sentenced to various prison terms after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to traffic and trafficking cocaine. The 10-person cocaine ring operated throughout Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Nine defendants have been sentenced to date. The defendants were all prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Rigoberto Gato, the main supplier, was sentenced yesterday to 15
years in prison; Maximo Gonzalez received a seven-year prison term; Edmundo
Caraballo was sentenced to five years in prison; Adam Hernandez received a three-year prison term; and Jesus Santiago was sentenced to five years of probation. Authorities determined that Gonzalez used his Latin festival production business as a front for the operation’s drug trafficking. The investigation, which included undercover work and wiretaps, was conducted by the Orlando Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and led to the seizure of $400,000 cash, guns, and trafficking amounts of cocaine from the individuals involved in the operation.

In addition to the five defendants sentenced yesterday, co-defendants
Richard Gonzalez, Juan Castellanos and Juan German were all sentenced
previously. Edwin Seda and Abdiel DeJesus have yet to be sentenced.

The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation is a joint task force of
agencies which includes the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the State Attorney’s Office of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola Sheriff’s Office, the Orlando Police Department, the Ocoee Police Department, the Apopka Police Department and the Winter Park Police Department.

For Immediate Release Contact: Sandi Copes
October 5, 2007 Phone: 850.245.0150

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