Colombian Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 26, 2013|
TAMPA, FL—Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Camilo Torres-Martinez, aka Fritanga (41, Colombia), yesterday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import into the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine; conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, intending that it would be unlawfully imported into the United States; and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, while on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life in federal prison for each count. Torres-Martinez was extradited from Colombia to the Middle District of Florida to face these charges.
According to court documents, Torres-Martinez admitted that from 2001 until June 2012, he organized and coordinated cocaine transportation operations. Torres-Martinez and his drug trafficking organization transported large quantities of cocaine in vessels dispatched off the Northern coast of Colombia. The cocaine was transported from the coast of Colombia to Honduras, for ultimate introduction into and distribution in the United States. The drug trafficking organization utilized speedboats and fishing vessels to transport the drugs.
On November 8, 2004, the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted a 40-foot speedboat in international waters in the Carribean Sea. Coast Guard personnel recovered a total of 2,652 kilograms of cocaine. On July 6, 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted a Honduran-flagged fishing vessel, the Ocean Mistery, in international waters in the Carribean Sea. Coast Guard personnel recovered a total of 2,483 kilograms of cocaine. Both of these drug transport operations were organized by Torres-Martinez.
This case was investigated by OCDETF’s Panama Express Strike Force, composed of agents and analysts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, and Joint Interagency Task Force South. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez.