International

Former Dominican consul in Jamaica arrested for drug trafficking in the United States

NEW YORK. –  The former Dominican Consul General in Jamaica, Jeremías Jiménez Cruz, directed a drug gang in Manhattan, which produced millions of dollars in the streets of several states of the United States, where he trafficked with large amounts of cocaine and other drugs, from the Dominican Republic where he led a double life, even being recognized by community organizations as an apparent philanthropist who masked himself in the presidency of the National Christian Movement, a cell of his Christian Social Reform Party (PRSC), which stripped him in April 2017, of a candidate for deputy for the constituency # 3 in the area of Santo Domingo Norte in the capital of the Caribbean country, according to federal prosecutors and the DEA said to be accused of trafficking at least 5 kilos of the drug that would take 30 years in a federal prison, as a minimum penalty, 20 for money laundering and 10 for drug trafficking, and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

He was appointed based on the PRSC electoral support agreement to Leonel Fernández, with decree 74-08 of November 13 of that year signed by the then president of the republic and with a salary of $ 10,300 dollars, according to the payroll of the chancellery.

Federal district attorney for the Southern District in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, said Monday that Jiménez Cruz and an unidentified accomplice, who could be the informant who led the DEA to the former reformist consul, are accused of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and conspiracy to launder money from the sale of drugs.

For his part, the special agent of the DEA Raymond P. Donovan, of Puerto Rican origin, offered details of the investigation that concluded with the arrest of Jiménez Cruz.

He was arrested by the DEA on Thursday, September 6 and formally indicted in federal court Friday, September 7 before Judge Sarah Netburn.

The second defendant has not yet been arrested. The case was assigned to Judge Kimba M. Wood, who was in charge of former Dominican National Army captain Ernesto Paulino Castillo (Quirino), sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Prosecutors and the DEA allege that the former consul used his privileged diplomatic position in Jamaica to traffic drugs to the United States.

But, the file does not specify whether cocaine was transported from Jamaica or the Dominican Republic.

“When senior foreign officials conduct illegitimate activities in the United States, this Office and our law enforcement partners will act quickly and resolutely to bring them to justice.”

The agent said that “greed is the underlying motivation for drug traffickers worldwide. And saving lives is the mission of law enforcement, which leads to investigations like this. It is alleged that Jeremías Jiménez Cruz used his position and resources to facilitate cocaine trafficking from the Dominican Republic to the United States. This is another example of how the DEA and our law enforcement partners focus on identifying, investigating and dismantling the drug trafficking organizations responsible for fueling drug addiction. ”

Jiménez Cruz and his accomplices used the defendant’s position, connections and private plane to traffic large amounts of cocaine, even to import into the United States, and to launder drug profits, according to prosecutors.

RECOGNITION

One of the awards received by Jiménez Cruz, was given by community organizations and churches with the Management Committee for Development of La Zurza in Santo Domingo, indicating that this act arose from the free will of the committee, in recognition of the trajectory and the work carried out by Jiménez Cruz, who “has stood by the most just causes in search of solutions to the problems that affect these neighborhoods.”

The committee said that “its strength in the neighborhoods of the capital make it one of the fundamental referents for the institutional, social and economic transformations to which Dominican society is committed. This trajectory makes him deserving of this award. ”

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