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The man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute approximately 5 kilograms of cocaine for distribution into the United States
and was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison.
- Illustrative photo -

Published Tuesday, June 22, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

A Costa Rican man surnamed  Espinoza-Cruz, 49, was sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.

Espinoza-Cruz, 49, pleaded guilty on Feb. 3, 2021, to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine for distribution into the United States and was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan.

“As this case demonstrates, drug smugglers will use any transportation method they can to bring their deadly wares to our shores,” said Ganjei. “Although the transportation network these traffickers devised and implemented was extraordinarily vast and complex, our law enforcement partners were able to identify and disrupt it, and ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice in United States courts. This case is nothing less than a tremendous win for the American people.”

According to  Eduardo A. Chávez, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Dallas Field Division, this sentence reflects the continued resolve to partner with the international law-enforcement counterparts to fight greed, violence, and drug addiction as they continue to combat the crises they face daily.

According to information presented in court, from at least 2005 and continuing up until his indictment, Espinoza-Cruz, was a member of a drug trafficking organization responsible for multi-ton cocaine shipments originating in Colombia and then shipped to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico for further distribution to the United States.

Airplanes, go-fast boats, semi-tractor trailer trucks, and passenger vehicles were used to transport most of the cocaine shipments. A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Espinoza-Cruz with federal drug trafficking violations on Nov. 10, 2016.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. The organization identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Texas in its statement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Bloss.

This is the second man sentenced in the U.S. for drug trafficking activities linked in Costa Rica this month.

On June 10, a foreign man was sentenced for shipping drugs from Colombia to Costa Rica for further distribution to the U.S.

What else could the U.S. government do in the fight against drug trafficking?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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