- Photo via U.S. Department of Justice -

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Published on Tuesday, November 16, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

A former United States Marine and dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, surnamed Dominguez-Ramirez, 39, of Tamaulipas city plead guilty in a U.S. federal court to drug and money laundering charges, admitting that he was the leader of a trafficking organization that transported ton-quantities of cocaine from South America to Costa Rica into the United States.

According to court documents, Dominguez purchased cocaine from sources of supply stretching from the Chiapas state of Mexico to Peru, including sources in Costa Rica. He also said he supplied the drug in other countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

Dominguez obtained cocaine from sources of supply in South and Central America and used drug transportation cells in Central America to transport the cocaine into Mexico via boats, aircraft and commercial vehicles. His transportation network moved cocaine across the U.S.-Mexico border at ports of entry in Texas and California and into cities within the United States, the Department of Justice said in its statement.

The charges to which Dominguez pleaded guilty stem from a long-standing investigation that led to more than 30 seizures totaling five tons of cocaine and over $9 million of drug-related proceeds.

According to the government filing, Dominguez built his organization through cooperative alliances with the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel del Golfo and Los Zetas.

His organization not only moved vast quantities of its own cocaine and marijuana into the United States but it was also used by leaders of other Mexican cartels and drug trafficking organizations to move illegal drugs into the United States, added the Department of Justice.
“Today’s guilty plea shows that this office, together with its law enforcement partners, will continue to hold accountable those who are importing huge quantities of dangerous drugs into this country,” Acting United States Attorney Randy Grossman said.

Dominguez pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances for Purpose of Unlawful Importation. Term of custody including a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life imprisonment, $10 million fine and 5 years supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

In Costa Rica, authorities call for people to report any suspicion of drug sales or trafficking to the confidential line 800-8000-645 or 11-76, where bilingual agents can answer calls in English or Spanish.

What have you heard about foreigners allegedly trafficking drugs from Costa Rica?  
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