Leader of South Florida Drug-Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 169 Months in Federal Prison

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

Miami, Florida – Today, a federal district judge in Miami sentenced 42-year-old Palacio Valdes Farley to over 14 years in prison for conspiring to traffic marijuana, eutylone, and MDMA, as well as conspiring to launder proceeds of the illegal drug activity.

As part of his guilty plea to the charges earlier this year, Farley admitted that from about 2016 to 2019, he organized and led a six-member South Florida drug-trafficking organization (“DTO”).  The DTO obtained marijuana from co-conspirators in California, and MDMA from a South Florida co-conspirator, then distributed the drugs in Florida.  Farley also admitted that on August 3, 2019, while he was serving a prison sentence at Jackson Correctional Institute in Jackson County, Florida, another member of the DTO was arrested while attempting to smuggle marijuana, eutylone, and MDMA into the prison.  The plan was for Farley to distribute the drugs to inmates.  As to money laundering, Farley admitted that he conspired with members of the DTO and others to conduct financial transactions intended to disguise the origins of the drug trafficking proceeds.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John J. Bernardo, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the sentence that U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams imposed today. 

Other defendants in this case have received the following federal prison sentences: Pedro Ceballos Jaime received 120 months; Karen Xiomara Williams received 62 months; Lisa Flood received 44 months; Willie Hudson received 15 months; Robert Benton received 15 months; Denzel Wilson received 16 months; Shanequa Samuels received 24 months; and Emmanuel White received 27 months.  Defendant Stephen Keane is set for sentencing on August 12, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Williams.  

The FBI investigated this case, with assistance from Florida Department of Corrections, Office of Inspector General; Broward Sheriff’s Office; Fort Lauderdale Police Department; Lauderhill Police Department; and United States Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Dwayne E. Williams and Dayron Silverio are prosecuting the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Annika Miranda is handling asset forfeiture.

This prosecution is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, and other priority transnational criminal organizations that threaten the citizens of the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence driven, multi-agency approach to combat transnational organized crime.  The OCDETF program facilitates complex, joint operations by focusing its partner agencies on priority targets, by managing and coordinating multi-agency efforts, and by leveraging intelligence across multiple investigative platforms.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 19-cr-20667-Williams.

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