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Guatemalan National Extradited To East Texas, Sentenced For Drug Smuggling

PLANO, Texas – The Eastern District of Texas sentenced a Guatemalan man to federal prison for drug trafficking violations. Jose Ramon Reyes Villagran, 37, pleaded guilty on Sep. 1, 2020, to conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States and manufacturing, distributing, and importing cocaine into the United States and was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan.

“Despite the sophisticated network of land, sea, and air smuggling routes, it wasn’t enough to conceal the criminal activities of Mr. Villagran and his associates from American investigators and our overseas law enforcement allies,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “The long arm of the American justice system extends even overseas and brings international drug traffickers and their conspirators to our shores to face justice in American courts.”

According to information presented in court, Villagran, a resident and national of Guatemala, was a drug trafficking organization responsible for multi-ton cocaine shipments originating from Columbia. They shipped the drugs to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico for further distribution to the United States. They used airplanes, go-fast boats, semi-tractor trailer trucks, and passenger vehicles to transport most cocaine shipments.

Villagran was involved with coordinating airplanes to transport cocaine shipments departing from Colombia and Venezuela to arrive at his clandestine landing strips in Guatemala. After that, he distributed the bulk of cocaine to his customers in Guatemala and Mexico. A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Villagran with federal drug trafficking violations on Aug. 8, 2018.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. You can find additional information about the OCDETF Program at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Bloss worked on this case.