Colombian Nationals Convicted of Conspiring to Import Cocaine into the United States
NORFOLK, VA—German Dario Brand Piedrahita, 48, of Medellin, Colombia, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cocaine for the purpose of importation into the United States. Today, Sonia Cruz Quiceno, 48, of Calarca, Colombia, was sentenced to 168 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for her involvement in the same conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cocaine for the purpose of importation into the United States.
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Division Office, and Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Norfolk Field Office, made the announcements after Cruz Quiceno’s sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
Brand Piedrahita and Cruz Quiceno were indicted on October 23, 2013 by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from their roles in a cocaine importation, firearms, and narco-terrorism conspiracy. According to court documents, both Brand Piedrahita and Cruz Quiceno were associates of the Bacrim Los Urabeños, a transnational narco-trafficking organization operating in Colombia.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Brand Piedrahita, admitted to his role in the production of large quantities of cocaine in Colombia on behalf of the Bacrim Los Urabeños, and the subsequent transport of the cocaine to other members of the conspiracy for the eventual importation into the United States. Within the conspiracy, Brand Piedrahita was involved in purchasing cocaine base, constructing a jungle laboratory for the production of cocaine from cocaine base, transporting the cocaine to the coast of Colombia, and collecting payment for various cocaine loads. All told, Brand Piedrahita was involved in the production and shipment of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the life of the conspiracy. He will be sentenced on January 7, 2015.
Cruz Quiceno pleaded guilty on March 19, 2014. According to court documents, Cruz Quiceno was responsible both for negotiating cocaine sales and moving money on behalf of the Bacrim Los Urabeños. She is responsible for the movement of millions of U.S. dollars back into Colombia from the sale of cocaine in the United States.
This case was investigated by the Norfolk Resident Office and Bogota, Colombia Country Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Colombian National Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys V. Kathleen Dougherty, Kevin M. Comstock, and Joseph E. DePadilla are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:13-cr-122.