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Importation of More than 5 Kilograms of Cocaine into the United States

In Case No: 13-3550-White the government charged Ramon Llario CARIAS Diaz with importing more than 5 kilograms of cocaine into the United States on October 23, 2013 in violation of Title 12 USC section 952, 21 USC section 960(b)(1)(B)(ii) and 21 USC section 963.

According to the Special Agent it was stated that on or about the date of October 23, 2013, at the Port of Miami, a search was directed by the Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) of the Motor Vessel (M/V) SILIVY which departed Haiti arriving in the United States and landed at P& L Cargo Services which is located at 3300 NW North River Drive in Miami, Florida. At approximately 5:00 PM. during a search of the vessel, the Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) exposed four bags made of black plastic. It was revealed that each of the bags contained 5 objects that were brick-shaped residing inside the bilge of the ship. These objects were taken out of the plastic bags to be field-tested. The results of the field tests substantiated a positive result for the existence of cocaine. Additionally, $3,000.00 in cash in United States currency was also uncovered in a space inside the generator room, concealed behind a wall. At that time, twenty bundles of cocaine were consequently seized.

Upon the detection of the controlled substance, CBP notified HSl and DEA special agents of their discoveries onboard the vessel. After notification, surveillance of the M/V SILIVY was instituted by state and local law enforcement officers along with DEA and HSI special agents. In a combined effort to detect the person(s) blamable for smuggling the drugs into the Country, the law enforcement agencies staked out the ship for approximately 48 hours with hopes of catching the intended recipient of the cocaine. After that time period elapsed and it appeared that no one or no other vessel was going to show up to claim the cargo the officers decided to enter the vessel.

The M/V SILIVY was boarded at approximately 5:00 PM on October 26. Once onboard the law enforcement officers were able to identify all the members of the ship’s crew inside the vessel at the time. One of the crew members, the second assistant engineer, was identified as Ramon Ilario CARIAS Diaz, a Honduran National and citizen of that country.

CARIAS was then advised of his Miranda rights by law enforcement officers. He agreed to waive said rights. Afterward he admitted to being responsible for stashing the cocaine and smuggling it into the country aboard the vessel. He told agents that he was going through a rough period and needed the money. He went on to inform the officers that when the M/V SILIVY stopped over in Haiti a man of apparently Haitian decent brought the cocaine onto the ship and was subsequently directed by CARIAS of a specific area to hide it. During the time the vessel continued its voyage toward the United States CARIAS removed the parcels of drugs from their preliminary location and placed them in the bilge of the ship. Additionally CARIAS told law enforcement that the $3,000.00 in cash that was found secreted within a wall of the generator room was given to him as a down payment for hiding the drugs on the ship. He further informed them that he was to receive the balance of payment after he brought the cocaine from the ship. HS1 special agents seized the $3,000.00 at that time. The balance of payment due to CARIAS was to be $4,000.00 U.S. currency in dollars per kilogram of cocaine.

At this point, CARIAS voluntarily led officers to the engine room at approximately 8:00 PM, and identified the location where he instructed the Haitian man to originally hide the cocaine as well as showing them the location where he later placed it in the bilge.

CARIAS Diaz faces a ten year minimum mandatory sentence as a result of his arrest.

The law offices of Michael B. Cohen, Esq. are conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale directly off Interstate 95 and in the heart of West Palm Beach. Previously an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mr. Cohen’s abilities and expertise give a clear advantage in the handling of federal cases that may have been levied against you, a friend or a loved one by the government. To call either of Mr. Cohen’s offices please call 954.928.0059 in Dade or Broward County and 561.366.8200 in the Palm Beaches.