Former Government Official In The Dominican Republic Sentenced To 15 Years For Conspiring To Import Cocaine Into The United States

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that the Dominican Republic’s former Consul General to Jamaica, JEREMIAS JIMENEZ CRUZ, was sentenced today to 179 months in prison for using his position and contacts in the government of the Dominican Republic to import cocaine into the United States. JIMENEZ CRUZ was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood. JIMENEZ CRUZ previously pled guilty to conspiring to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:  “Jeremias Jimenez Cruz abused his position as a government official to traffic vast amounts of cocaine into the United States. Today Jimenez Cruz was rightly sentenced to 15 years in prison for his crime.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment, prior filings in this case, and statements made in Court:

JIMENEZ CRUZ was a high-ranking government official in the Dominican Republic whose positions have included Vice Consul of the Dominican Republic to Germany, Consul General of the Dominican Republic to Jamaica, and president of the National Christian Movement.  He has also held himself out to be the half-brother of a former two-term president of the Dominican Republic. JIMENEZ CRUZ used his position, connections, and planes to traffic large quantities of cocaine, including for importation to the United States, and to launder drug proceeds. During the course of the investigation, JIMENEZ CRUZ was caught on tape admitting that with his government connections, he had the capacity to move up to 600 kilograms of cocaine by airplane and up to one ton of cocaine by boat. JIMENEZ CRUZ admitted that he was a leader of this conspiracy that involved the importation of over 50 kilograms of cocaine, and that he abused his position of public trust to commit the offense.

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In addition to the sentence, JIMENEZ CRUZ, age 52, was sentenced to five years of supervised release.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA. The arrest was the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).  

The Strike Force is housed at the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, New York City Sheriff’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives , U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, New York National Guard, the Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department, and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Adam S. Hobson and Mollie Bracewell are in charge of the prosecution.