A luggage deliveryman stands in the center of drug trafficking gang that smuggled drugs hidden inside candy wrappers, candy, sugar containers, oatmeal cookie containers, stuffed inside empanadas and even on diplomas from south of the border. The deliveryman also is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of valuables from luggage owners.
Jorge Guerrero, 39, obtained the stolen goods and ran the drug trafficking ring while working for the private company, American Distributors. Guerrero, arrested last week, now stands charged of 14 offenses including attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of stolen property.
Cocaine on Scuba Diving Diplomas?
Guerrero’s “narcotics conspiracy”, as authorities are labeling it, resulted in the smuggling of 11 lbs of heroin and cocaine into the U.S. through concealed chocolate bar wrappers, candy, in containers of sugar and oatmeal cookies, and even stuffed inside empanadas. Guerrero and his gang of five accomplices also attempted to sneak in over 3 lbs of liquid cocaine through a cocaine soaked stack of scuba diving diplomas, according to the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York.
Law enforcement discovered the drug ring after a six-month wiretap investigation that uncovered drugs being smuggled on commercial cargo planes directly from Guayaquil, Ecuador to New York’s JFK Airport. Once at JFK, parcel delivery companies delivered the packages from a warehouse. Guerrero would pick up the packages during his rounds to deliver lost luggage.
A Thief in the Night
Guerrero not only served as the drug kingpin, but also moonlighted as thief. Officials believe Guerrero acted alone when stealing clothing, electronics and other valuables from passengers’ lost luggage that he handled.
When police raided Guerrero’s home in Queens, NY they found 13 suitcases, some having tags bearing other people’s names.
They also found:
- Over 50 designer handbags
- 20 cameras
- 50 watches
- 30 pairs of sunglasses
- Bottles of high end liquor
- Bottles of high end perfume
- New clothing with tags still attached
- A stockpile of electronics
- 15 iPads, iPods and laptop computers
New York Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said in a press release, “Whether using access to international cargo to profit from Ecuador’s bargain wholesale prices for narcotics, or pilfering designer underwear from personal luggage, the Guerrero organization rarely overlooked an opportunity to earn a dishonest dollar.”
Guerrero’s lawyer, Frank Rothman told ABC News that he is not satisfied with the prosecutor’s office because the office has denied him access to the evidence directly linking Guerrero to the “narcotics conspiracy”—specifically, phone calls recovered through the wire tapping. He also said that law enforcement found no drugs at Guerrero’s home.
If you or a loved is facing drug charges, you need to contact a South Carolina drug crimes attorney at the Strom Law Firm. We will fight to get the charges reduced or potentially dismissed. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800