Long Prison Terms for Convicted Drug Traffickers
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 22, 2012|
Tony Granado, 68, of El Paso, Texas, and Richard Moquete, 35, of Philadelphia, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their roles in a cocaine trafficking operation that brought at least 1,500 kilograms of cocaine to the streets of Philadelphia, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Granado was sentenced today to 360 months in prison; Moquete was sentenced yesterday to 324 months in prison. The two were convicted at trial in January of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine.
As the evidence in the trial revealed, Moquete was selling cocaine for a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization and was the organization’s only cocaine distributor in Philadelphia. He was was personally responsible for the distribution of hundreds, if not thousands, of kilograms of cocaine and the return of millions of dollars in cocaine proceeds. Granado was intimately involved in the operations of the Mexican-based cocaine trafficking organization and, by his own admission, recruited numerous truck drivers for various individuals in El Paso, Texas who were responsible for the transportation of the cocaine that was sent from Mexico. One of those truck drivers, Peter Singh, took numerous trips for Granado to deliver cocaine to Philadelphia and Dayton, Ohio. On the last trip before his arrest on July 14, 2006, Singh had almost 14 kilograms of cocaine and $831,880 cash hidden in his tractor. Granado met Singh before each trip and gave him the cocaine, including the cocaine that was seized on July 14, 2006.
Granado also flew to New York to help facilitate cocaine sales by introducing the organization to a customer, overseeing the sales, overseeing the money pickup, and helping transport the money back to Texas. The evidence at trial demonstrated quite clearly that Granado was personally responsible for the distribution of hundreds, if not thousands, of kilograms of cocaine and his co-conspirators were responsible for the distribution of additional thousands of kilograms of cocaine.
As the trial evidence showed, defendant Moquete was selling cocaine for a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization and would typically meet members of the organization at a home he owned at 6308 Jackson Street in Philadelphia. Moquete would pay for the cocaine on a rolling basis by providing hundreds of thousands of dollars cash at a time and where he would also usually take delivery of the cocaine. The trial jury heard testimony from witnesses who personally delivered cocaine to and picked up money from Moquete. Evidence included surveillance, both visual and video, of defendant Moquete meeting with members of the organization and handing over duffel bags. It included GPS evidence showing defendant Moquete’s vehicles at 6308 Jackson Street as the same time as vehicles driven by co-conspirators. It included a recorded conversation between defendant Moquete and the informant in which defendant Moquete quite clearly discussed his cocaine trafficking and the money he was paying for the cocaine.
In addition to the prison terms, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond ordered 10 years’ supervised release and a $300 special assessment for Granado, and five years’ supervised release and a $500 special assessment for Moquete.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Philadelphia Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael S. Lowe and Sozi P. Tulante.