The way to stop the drug epidemic in the United States is to cut off the supply before it gets here. Easier said than done, but it does happen now and then.
Just ask Richard Mosquera. The 44-year-old Colombian has admitted conspiring to import five kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States and distribute it here. He is looking at a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to a maximum term of life in prison.
Mosquera was indicted on June 12, 2013. The plea deal shows that between 2009 and 2012, Mosquera worked on the dope deal with co-defendant Anderson Bryan Lever and others. Lever sent boats loaded with cocaine from San Andres Island, Colombia, and Mosquera received them in Honduras.
Upon receipt of the white stuff, Mosquera paid off the sailors who did the actual smuggling with as much as $500,000 in U.S. dollars. The boaters then brought the money back to San Andres Island, and Mosquera arranged for the cocaine to be imported into the United States.
Mosquera was arrested in Colombia and extradited to the United States.
In other recent drug cases:
- When Jennifer Chau Chieu, 37, moved from Oakland, California, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2010, it wasn’t for the weather. She got into the drug business and started to receive 10-20 pound packages of high-quality marijuana from California on a daily basis. She resold the weed for between $2,400 and $4,600 a pound. It is believed Jennifer raked in at least $8 million and maybe as much as $16 million. Postal inspectors nailed her. She has been sentenced to 140 months of incarceration.
- Over a three-year period, the brothers sold hundreds of thousands of 30-milligram oxycodone pills on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and hauled in about $5 million. It took a one-month trial to do it, but Stanley D. Gonsalves and Joshua M. Gonsalves were finally convicted on the oxy charges plus money laundering. The jury required the forfeiture of property and issued money judgments totaling $5,074,575. Witnesses testified that couriers transported huge loads of pills from South Florida up to New England by plane and by car. The product was divided into 100-pill packs and taken to Cape Cod for sale to dealer-level customers. The brothers will be sentenced in 2015 to long prison terms.