Ex-Dominican government official gets 15 years for importing 5 kilos of cocaine into US

Jeremy Jiminez Cruz

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that the former Consul General of the Dominican Republic in Jamaica, JEREMIAS JIMENEZ CRUZ, was sentenced today to 179 months in prison for using his position and contacts within the government of the Dominican Republic to import cocaine into the United States. JIMENEZ CRUZ was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood. JIMENEZ CRUZ previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

US Attorney Damian Williams said, “Jeremias Jimenez Cruz abused his position as a public official to smuggle large quantities of cocaine into the United States. Today, Jimenez Cruz was rightly sentenced to 15 years in prison for his crime.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, documents previously filed in this case and statements made in court:

JIMENEZ CRUZ was a senior government official of the Dominican Republic whose positions have included the Vice Consul of the Dominican Republic to Germany, the Consul General of the Dominican Republic to Jamaica, and the President of the National Christian Movement. He also introduced himself as the half-brother of a former two-term president of the Dominican Republic. JIMENEZ CRUZ used his position, connections, and aircraft to traffic large quantities of cocaine, including for importation into the United States, and to launder drug proceeds. During the investigation, JIMENEZ CRUZ was filmed admitting that with his connections to the government, he had the capacity to transport up to 600 kilograms of cocaine by plane and up to a ton of cocaine by ship. JIMENEZ CRUZ has admitted that he was a ringleader in this conspiracy which involved importing over 50 kilograms of cocaine, and that he abused his position of public trust to commit the offence.

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In addition to the sentence, JIMENEZ CRUZ, 52, was sentenced to five years of probation.

Mr. Williams hailed the DEA’s outstanding investigative work. The arrest was the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force ( OECDTF) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The Strike Force is housed in the New York Division of the DEA and includes agents and officers from the DEA, New York City Police Department, New York State Police, Bureau of New York City Sheriff, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, United States. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, US Customs and Border Protection, US Secret Service, the US Marshals Service, New York National Guard, the Clarkstown Police Department, US Coast Guard, Port Washington New York State Police Department and Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

The charge is being handled by the Agency’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Adam S. Hobson and Mollie Bracewell are charged with the prosecution.

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