FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Thirteen people have been charged with conspiring to commit an elaborate scheme by importing heroin and cocaine into the United States through Port Everglades.
U.S Attorney WIlfredo Ferrer, DEA, ICE and BSO Officials announced the charges Wednesday against dock workers Rene Pedraza Contreras, Hector Gonzalez, Javier Delgado, Jose Emilio Navarro, Rusland Jimenez Perez, Antonio Pena, Joaquin Florencias Arronte, and Andres Collazo, together with Felipe Mena, crewmember of cargo vessel Katrin S., and four other non-Port workers, Joaquin Goenaga, Cristian Rene Pedraza-Caban, Livan Alfonso, and Miguel Angel Puerto. Puerto is still at large, another co-conspirator Ulises Prieto was charged in a separate case and had pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy. He will be sentenced November 29, 2011.
Officials say the accused assisted in the smuggling conspiracy by coordinating the concealment of the drugs aboard King Ocean Services cargo vessels at ports overseas.
Once the drugs arrived at Port Everglades, authorities say, the accused assisted in handing them over to drug traffickers.
Officials say more than 20 kilograms of heroin and cocaine were brought into South Florida before the crime was uncovered. The drugs have an estimated street value of $2.5 million.