CHARLOTTE AMAKIE — A Dominican Republic man who thought he would make $200,000 by taking 2,500 pounds of cocaine from Venezuela to Puerto Rico — instead got 11 years in prison for his trouble.
Dany Perez-Brito, 45 of Santo Domingo was sentenced today in U.S. District Court on St. Thomas to 135 months in prison for trafficking over 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.
According to court documents, Perez-Brito,was one of three individuals apprehended on December 11, 2018 onboard a go-fast vessel loaded with over 5,000 bales containing a total of approximately 1,132 kilograms of cocaine. A United States Coast Guard (USCG) aircraft detected the go-fast style vessel about 65 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
After the boat was detected by USCG aircraft and maritime personnel, the go-fast vessel led authorities on a ten-hour chase in international waters between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas until the go-fast boat finally became dead in the water approximately 96 nautical miles north of St. Thomas. In court, Perez-Brito admitted to having conspired to transport the cocaine by boat from Venezuela to Puerto Rico, for which he expected to be paid $200,000.
This case was being investigated by the USCG, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith J. Edwards is prosecuting the case, which 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.
Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.