Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: narcotics smuggling

Nicaraguan National Sentenced for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Conspiracy

A Nicaraguan man was sentenced Thursday, January 31, 2013, to 19 years and seven months in prison on drug trafficking conspiracy charges and 15 years in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to provide weapons to a designated terrorist organization. The sentences resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration and an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

During the conspiracy, Franklin William McField-Bent, aka “Buda,” 55, had numerous meetings and phone calls with undercover Colombian law enforcement officers who claimed to be members of a foreign terrorist organization. McField-Bent tried to help them obtain weapons, which he believed would be used in attacks on the Colombian government. In March 2010, McField-Bent arranged the sale of six grenade launchers, 20 grenades, an Uzi submachine gun and 100 rounds of ammunition to the undercover officers. He also admitted to participating in three shipments of cocaine originating in Central America, all while knowing they were destined for the United States. Each shipment consisted of hundreds of kilograms of the drug.

“The arrest, conviction and subsequent sentencing of McField-Bent is an important accomplishment for theU.S.government and its international partners due to the magnitude of his criminal violations and the threat to the homeland,” said Alysa D. Erichs, special agent in charge of HSI Miami. “We will continue to work with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to identify and dismantle drug and weapons trafficking organizations.”

Organized crime drug enforcement task forces identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, as well as those organizations responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

HSI Target Operation Seizes 2,600 Pounds of Cocaine

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working jointly with other members of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), arrested two Dominican Republic nationals for drug trafficking and seized 2,600 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $29 million Wednesday, January 2, 2013, off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.

“In less than one week HSI and its partners in the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force have seized more than 2,800 pounds of cocaine,” said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. “These seizures and related arrests are clear proof that HSI, along with our state and federal partners, is vigilant and will not tolerate the importation of illegal drugs into the United States through Puerto Rico.”

Earlier the week ending in Friday, January 4, 2013, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a private vessel 43 nautical miles off of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, occupied by two Dominican Republic nationals and carrying 40 bales with approximately 2,600 pounds of cocaine. According to the criminal complaint, Jose De Leon and Wilson Concepción, both 40, knowingly and intentionally conspired to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The District of Puerto Rico was the first point where the defendants entered the United States after the commission of the offense.

De Leon and Concepción were transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center in Puerto Rico awaiting the outcome of their case.

CCSF is an initiative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office created to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Caribbean. CCSF is part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force that investigates South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics using the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States. The initiative is composed of HSI, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Puerto Rico Police Department’s United Forces for Rapid Action.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected weapons and narcotics smuggling and related information by calling at 1-866-DHS-2ICE.

24 Kilograms of Cocain Seized by HSI in Major Drug Trafficking Investigation

Twelve defendants were indicted Tuesday, August 7, 2012, in a major drug trafficking conspiracy in which large shipments of cocaine were flown by private chartered airplanes from Texas to Cleveland. These indictments follow an extensive joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Agency, and various other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

At least 24 kilograms of cocaine and $157,500 in cash were seized as part of the investigation. The conspiracy, which also included shipments of cocaine to Cleveland from Atlanta and a suburb of Chicago, included nearly 20 flights between August 2009 and March 2012, according to the indictment.

The following is a list of those indicted:

  • Johnny S. Phillips, aka “Nasty” or “Reef,” age 39, of South Euclid, Ohio;
  • Errick Phillips, aka “E” or “Ike,” age 41, of Lyndhurst, Ohio;
  • William Mangum, Jr., aka “Billy” or “Steel Bill,” age 43, of Cleveland;
  • Nora Flores, age 41, of Laredo, Texas;
  • Virginia Perez, age 35, of Laredo, Texas;
  • Rachele Lynn Munoz, age 32, of Laredo, Texas;
  • Richard A. Born, age 58, of Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Lamark Robinson, aka “Squirrel,” or “S.Q.,” age 30, of Cleveland;
  • Mark Anderson, aka “Floyd,” age 38, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio;
  • Robert Oldorff, age 52, of Cleveland;
  • John H. McDonald, age 52, of Cleveland;
  • Sharon Manchook, age 51, of Cleveland.

“This group is accused of using private airplanes to bring piles of cocaine into Cleveland,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “This case is a great example of law enforcement working together to choke off the supply of drugs that hit our streets.”

“This investigation is a sterling example of how federal, state and local law enforcement were able to successfully dismantle a major narcotics smuggling organization in the Cleveland area,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI for Michigan and Ohio. “HSI will continue to utilize its broad authorities to aggressively target and takedown group who are dispensing poison into our communities.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso said: “The investigation has successfully taken down a major cocaine trafficking organization operating in Northern Ohio. These indictments illustrate that no matter how creative drug traffickers attempt to be in order to avoid detection, when there is cooperation and communication among law enforcement agencies, conspiracies such as this will eventually be identified and eliminated.”

In addition to the conspiracy charge, defendants William Mangum, Jr., Virginia Perez, Rachele Lynn Munoz, Nora Flores, Errick Phillips and Johnny S. Phillips are also charged with interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise for trips they took between Ohio and states such as Texas, Illinois and Georgia as part of the drug trafficking enterprise. Johnny S. Phillips, Richard A. Born and Sharon Manchook are also charged with distributing cocaine on two occasions, while Errick Phillips and Mark Anderson are charged with possession with intent to distribute amounts of cocaine.

The indictment describes a conspiracy in which large amounts of cocaine were flown in multiple trips to Cleveland from Laredo,Texas using private chartered airplanes. The cocaine was delivered to Johnny S. Phillips and Errick Phillips. According to the indictment, the proceeds from the cocaine were then flown back to the suppliers in Laredo, Texas.

Approximately 13 kilograms of cocaine were seized in February 2010 at the airport in Laredo, Texas, that was scheduled to be delivered to Cleveland. Cocaine was also obtained from suppliers in Illinois. In August 2010, approximately seven kilograms of cocaine that were supposed to be delivered from Illinois to Cleveland were seized in Michigan from two couriers. In January 2011, approximately four kilograms of cocaine were seized from Errick Phillips as he was traveling back from Illinois to Cleveland. Investigators also seized over $157,500 in drug proceeds from a courier in December 2010. The courier was believed to be traveling from Cleveland to Texas, according to the indictment.

The cocaine obtained from these multiple locations was then distributed through a network of dealers in the Cleveland area to lower-level dealers and users, according to the indictment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew W. Shepherd and Duncan Brown. The case was investigated through the combined efforts of the DEA, ICE HSI, FBI, United States Marshal’s Service, Ohio Highway Patrol, Erie County Prosecutor’s Office, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Narcotics Agency, Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Heights Police Department, Euclid Police Department, Lyndhurst Police Department, North Royalton Police Department, South Euclid Police Department, and Westlake Police Department.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ roles in the offenses and the characteristics of the violations.