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HomeNewsPolice & CourtsEcuadorian Man Sentenced to Prison Time for Drug Conspiracy

Ecuadorian Man Sentenced to Prison Time for Drug Conspiracy

An Ecuadorian man was sentenced to 70 months in prison for possession of cocaine on board a vessel, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Friday.

Nestor Vera Escalante of Ecuador was sentenced to 70 months incarceration before Chief District Judge Robert A. Molloy on his conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine while on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States after pleading guilty on Feb. 28, according to the press release.

According to court documents, on July 12, 2021, while on routine patrol, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk intercepted a low-profile vessel located 125 nautical miles south, southwest of Isla De Molpelo, Colombia. The vessel was in international waters and displayed no signs of nationality. The vessel also exhibited suspicious factors, including low-profile construction, no navigation lights, and operation in a known drug vector. The vessel was later determined to be without nationality, thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Upon inspection of the low-profile vessel, Escalante, Jairo Riascos Preciado and Inocencio Espana Castillo, both of Columbia, were found onboard. Also found on board were 793 kilograms of cocaine inside the hull of the vessel. Preciado and Castillo pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 and Preciado was sentenced on July 7 to 100 months incarceration. Castillo awaits sentencing.

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