BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Jamaican national has been sentenced for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine aboard a cargo ship bound for the U.S., United States Attorney Brandon Fremin announced Monday, June 29.
Stephano Walkers, 25, of Jamaica, was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison after his conviction for conspiracy to bring or possess cocaine on board a vessel arriving in the United States.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) says according to admissions Walters made during his guilty plea, he was arrested Feb. 13, 2019 by Homeland Security investigators that were doing surveillance on cargo ships arriving in the country. The DOJ says Walters smuggled more than 9 kg of cocaine onto a Jamaican cargo ship named Bulk Pangea that was headed for the U.S.
After the ship docked, Walters then transported the cocaine to Baton Rouge, where he was arrested in the midst of trying to deliver the cocaine to members of a drug trafficking organization, the DOJ says.
“Aliens who come into the United States with the intent of committing crimes pose a serious threat to the safety of our citizens. Our office is committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to apprehend, convict, and remove this menace from our country. I want to commend our prosecutor and our partners at HSI who worked diligently throughout this investigation and prosecution,” said Fremin.
“HSI is committed to holding all those involved in transnational drug smuggling accountable,” said Jere T. Miles, special agent in charge for HSI New Orleans. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana to keep our communities safe.”
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