Former Guatemalan Government Official Convicted of U.S. Drug Charges
WASHINGTON – A former police officer in the Guatemalan government was convicted in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on drug charges, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
A federal jury returned a guilty verdict against Juan Daniel Del Cid Morales late Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, after a nine day trial. Del Cid Morales was indicted on drug trafficking charges in the District of Columbia on Aug. 17, 2006. Del Cid Morales and four others were charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and with conspiring to distribute cocaine outside the United States with the intent and knowledge that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States.
Del Cid Morales is a former ranking police officer in the Guatemalan government. From June 2006 to September 2006, he conspired to smuggle 1,300 kilograms of Colombian cocaine into Guatemala knowing that it would be imported into the United States. The evidence produced at trial included recorded conversations of the defendant and co-conspirators who met on several occasions with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confidential informant. Other evidence included recorded telephone conversations that showed Del Cid Morales and others agreed to provide security for a load of 1,300 kilograms of cocaine, which was to be secretly transported from Colombia to Guatemala, then Mexico, and ultimately to the United States.
U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates will schedule sentencing at a later date. Del Cid Morales faces a minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in prison.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kia Habisreitinger, Brian Tomney, and Paul Laymon of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS) of the Criminal Division. The investigation in this case was led by Special Agent Steve Fraga of the DEA, in close cooperation with Guatemalan law enforcement.
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