☷Three Leaders of Little Havana Drug Trafficking Organization Found Guilty
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( By Press Release office)
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Miami , Florida – Following a nine - week trial , a federal jury in Miami has found three leaders of a violent drug trafficking and money laundering organization operating in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood guilty of various firearms , narcotics , and money laundering crimes . According to the trial evidence , from 2013 to 2018 , Ulysses Cabrera , a/k/a “Uley , ” a/k/a “Big Cuz , ” 32 , and Bernardo Quinonez , a/k/a “Macho , ” 34 , both of Miami , led a continuing criminal enterprise that distributed cocaine , crack cocaine , and marijuana onto the...... streets of Little Havana . Cabrera supplied the cocaine and managed the operation . B . Quinonez was a co - manager who supervised the people turning the cocaine into crack inside local homes . The third trial defendant , Victor Smith , a/k/a “OGP , ” 26 , of Miami , oversaw the street - level drug sales . When rival drug dealers threatened the territory that they controlled or questioned their authority , Cabrera and B . Quinonez directed Smith and other armed members of the ring to intimidate , maim , and , in some instances , kill people . Innocent bystanders were sometimes shot and injured . Cabrera and B . Quinonez laundered the dirty drug money in various ways , including buying Opa - Locka real estate . Law enforcement seizures in this case included approximately 1 . 5 kilograms of cocaine , several grams of crack cocaine , more than 26 pounds of marijuana , four assault rifles , 10 pistols , 10 extended magazines , 10 semi - automatic firearms , a short barrel rifle , a revolver and hundreds of rounds of ammunition . The jury convicted Cabrera of one count of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise , one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine , crack cocaine , and marijuana , one count of conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime , four counts of money laundering crimes , and four counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine . The jury convicted B . Quinonez of one count of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise , one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine , crack cocaine , and marijuana , one count of conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime , one count of drive - by shooting , one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime , three counts of money laundering , seven counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine , and one count of maintaining an establishment to distribute controlled substances . It convicted Smith of one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine , crack cocaine , and marijuana , one count of conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime , and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine , as well as one count of armed robbery and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence . Sentencing is set for August 1 , before Chief United States District Judge Cecilia M . Altonaga . Cabrera , B . Quinonez , and Smith face up to life in prison . Juan Antonio Gonzalez , U . S . Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Christopher A . Robinson , Special Agent in Charge , Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco , Firearms and Explosives ( ATF ) , Miami Field Division; George A . Perez , Interim Director , Miami - Dade Police Department ( MDPD ) ; Manuel A . Morales , Chief of Police , City of Miami Police Department ( MPD ) ; and Gadyaces S . Serralta , U . S . Marshal , U . S . Marshals Service ( USMS ) , made the announcement . This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods ( PSN ) , a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone . In 2017 , PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals , directing all U . S . Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal , state , local , and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective , locally - based strategies to reduce violent crime . This case and prosecution were carried out by members of the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ( HIDTA ) Task Force . The South Florida HIDTA , established in 1990 , is made up of federal , state , and local law enforcement agencies who , cooperatively , target the region’s drug - trafficking and money laundering organizations . The South Florida HIDTA is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy , which sponsors a variety of initiatives focused on the nation’s illicit drug trafficking threats . This prosecution was part of Operation Havana Ghost , which is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force ( OCDETF ) , a partnership between federal , state and local law enforcement agencies . The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify , disrupt , and dismantle the highest - level drug traffickers , money launderers , and other priority transnational criminal organizations that threaten the citizens of the United States using a prosecutor - led , intelligence driven , multi - agency approach to combat transnational organized crime . The OCDETF program facilitates complex , joint operations by focusing its partner agencies on priority targets , by managing and coordinating multi - agency efforts , and by leveraging intelligence across multiple investigative platforms . ATF Miami , MDPD ( including the MDPD Street Terror Offender Program ( STOP ) ) , MPD , and U . S . Marshals Service investigated this case . Assistant U . S . Attorneys Ellen D’Angelo and Rilwan Adeduntan are prosecuting it . Assistant U . S . Attorney Nicole Grosnoff is handling asset forfeiture . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www . flsd . uscourts . gov or at http://pacer . flsd . uscourts . gov , under case number 18 - cr - 20946 . Miami Field Division
29 April 2022 ( April 29 2022 )
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