Pasco man sentenced to nearly 20 years for conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of cocaine in the Tampa Bay area


Date: April 10, 2024


Tampa, FL — U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Jonathan Rivera-Roman of Hudson to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison for conspiring to traffic cocaine and for distribution of cocaine. As part of his sentence, the court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $108,000, which was seized from a co-conspirator. Rivera-Roman was arrested on March 29, 2023, and detained. He entered a guilty plea on November 8, 2023. Rivera-Roman’s co-defendant, Angel Martinez-Pantoja, was sentenced on February 23, 2024, to 10 years in prison. A third co-defendant, Oscar Borelli-Ortiz, is a fugitive from justice.

According to court documents, Rivera-Roman operated a drug trafficking organization in Pasco County that received cocaine shipped from Puerto Rico. Following several controlled purchases of cocaine from Martinez-Pantoja, authorities learned on August 28, 2021, of an imminent plan for the organization to be resupplied via Borelli-Ortiz in Orlando. Authorities conducted three traffic stops that evening and executed several search warrants the next day, resulting in the seizures of bulk cash, firearms, and several kilograms of cocaine.

According to testimony presented at sentencing, the Rivera-Roman organization was responsible for obtaining at least 100 kilograms of cocaine for distribution in the Tampa Bay area. Rivera-Roman also used a beauty product supply business to launder his drug proceeds.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pasco County Office as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.