A Guatemalan national has been sentenced to more than thirteen years in prison for his role in a Guatemalan narcotics ring operating on U.S. soil.
The press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office reveals that Nery Gustavo Ramos-Duarte, age 52 of Chiquimula, Guatemala, was operating as a money courier between the United States and his home country. He was initially arrested in Arkansas with $1,168,000 in cash hidden in a secret compartment in his vehicle.
Authorities identified the Guatemalan national as a member of a “large international organization that imported cocaine into the United States” and as “a trusted member” who could “speak directly” with the organization’s leader in Guatemala.
This arrest marks the sixth arrest, conviction, or sentence handed down to Central or South American citizens in the last thirty days for operating or playing a vital role in narcotics operations on U.S. soil.
The other cases involved Mexican nationals leading narcotics operations on U.S. soil, having U.S. citizens working under them, and even manufacturing methamphetamine in Idaho. The Guatemalan national’s arrest furthers the indication that foreign cartels have ceased simply selling their narcotics to traffickers in favor of having their own people manage their operations inside America’s borders.