A Colombian national, previously deported at least two times, was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison on drug trafficking charges in Texas after he re-entered the United States illegally.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone sentenced Esmir Colorado-Cuero, 35, to serve 121 months, more than 10 years, behind bars on these charges as well as for reentering the U.S. illegally after being deported, said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown for the Eastern District of Texas. As part of a plea agreement, the Colombian national pleaded guilty on October 22, 2018, to conspiracy to traffic heroin, conspiracy to money launder, and unlawful reentry by a previously removed alien.
In January 2016, law enforcement officers seized a kilogram of heroin moving through Beaumont, Texas, on its way for delivery in Louisiana as well as two bundles of cash totaling $100,000 each in the Houston area, according to information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. Through an extensive investigation, federal agents identified that Colorado-Cuero was connected to these illegal activities and, subsequently, to a large scale heroin trafficking and money laundering scheme that transported drugs and cash from Houston through east Texas.
Additionally, the investigation revealed Colorado-Cuero had been apprehended and deported from the U.S. on two known occasions before his reentry. Court documents obtained by Breitbart News stated that Colorado-Cuero was detained by Texas border patrol agents for illegal entry into the U.S. on January 1, 2011, near Falfurrias. An immigration judge ordered his removal several months later in April. Colorado-Cuero was deported back to Columbia in June. Then, he was apprehended in Texas by border patrol officers on December 31, 2012, near Mission. Federal officials reinstated Colorado-Cuero’s order of removal, deporting him on February 25, 2013. The court documents also indicated that Colorado-Cuero did not apply for permission to reenter the country from the U.S. Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security since his 2013 removal.
This case was the result of an extensive joint investigation led by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, according to Brown. The principal mission of this task force is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering operations, as well as those individuals primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. The feds say six other defendant have been convicted and sentenced for their roles in these types of conspiracies.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration field divisions in Houston and Miami, police departments in Houston and Beaumont, the Department of Homeland Security- Enforcement Removal Operations-Beaumont, Homeland Security Investigations-Houston, and the Texas Department of Public Safety crime labs in Tyler and Austin investigated this case.