Mexican drug traffickers charged with drug trafficking crime based on seizure of more than three tons of cocaine


Notice: Historical Content

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Date: September 9, 2020


Raymundo Montoya-López, Abraham Alfonso García-Montoya, and Felizardo Díaz-Hernández were charged in a criminal complaint in Manhattan federal court with conspiring to import almost three tons of cocaine into the United States. The charge arises from a September 1, 2020, seizure by Mexico's Secretaría de Marina (the Mexican Navy) of approximately 2,960 kilograms of cocaine off the coast of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

As alleged in the Complaint unsealed in federal court:

On or about September 1, 2020, aircraft from the Mexican Navy located and began tracking a boat traveling northwest through the Caribbean Sea toward the Mexican city of Chetumal and the village of Mahahual. Shortly thereafter, the Mexican Navy intercepted the boat approximately 85 nautical miles off the coast of Quintana Roo, and boarded and searched it. During the search, the Mexican Navy found and arrested Montoya-López, García-Montoya, and Díaz‑Hernández. The Mexican Navy also found and seized approximately 2,960 kilograms of cocaine.

Montoya-López, García-Montoya, and Díaz‑Hernández, all of Sinaloa, Mexico, are charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, the DEA's Mérida Resident Office, and Mexico's Secretaría de Marina. The Strike Force is housed at the DEA's New York Division and includes agents and officers of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation; the DEA; the New York City Police Department; the New York State Police; Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations; 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.

Assistant United States Attorneys Michael K. Krouse, Stephanie Lake, Daniel G. Nessim, Benjamin Woodside Schrier, and Kyle A. Wirshba are in charge of the prosecution.

The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.