Guatemalan Drug Trafficker Sentenced for Importing Cocaine into US

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PLANO, Texas – A Guatemalan man was sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.

Jose Ramon Reyes Villagran, 37, pleaded guilty on Sep. 1, 2020, to conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States and manufacturing, distributing, and importing cocaine into the United States and was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan.

“Despite the sophisticated network of land, sea, and air smuggling routes, it wasn’t enough to conceal the criminal activities of Mr. Villagran and his associates from American investigators and our overseas law enforcement allies,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.  “The long arm of the American justice system extends even overseas, and brings international drug traffickers and their conspirators to our shores to face justice in American courts.”

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According to information presented in court, Villagran, a resident and national of Guatemala, was a member of a drug trafficking organization responsible for multi-ton cocaine shipments which originated from Columbia.  The drugs were 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.  Villagran was involved with coordinating airplanes used to transport cocaine shipments departing from Colombia and Venezuela to arrive at his clandestine landing strips in Guatemala.  Thereafter, he distributed the bulk cocaine to his customers in Guatemala and Mexico.  A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Villagran with federal drug trafficking violations on August 8, 2018.

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This effort is part of an 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. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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