Dominican Republic Citizen Accused of Online Drug Trafficking Extradited to the US
A Dominican Republic man accused of running a large-scale online drug trafficking operation was extradited to the US where he is charged in a three-count indictment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York announced that Jose Francisco Guzman-Cabrera, 41, of the Dominican Republic, was extradited to the US and charged with drug trafficking and money laundering offenses. The charges stemmed from an investigation into a five-year-long online drug trafficking operation that distributed oxycodone, hydrocodone, p-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl, and U-47700.
The investigation that led Guzman-Cabrera’s extradition began in March 2017 after a drug user died of an opioid overdose in Idaho. The investigators discovered that the victim had been purchasing painkillers from an online pharmacy.
Further investigations revealed that the online pharmacy was selling prescription pills to users from all over the US. The investigators then made multiple undercover purchases of oxycodone and hydrocodone as they proceeded with the investigation.
During the investigation, the investigators established that the Dominican Republic-based Guzman-Cabrera was the head of the drug trafficking operation. He reportedly oversaw the purchase of the drugs from oversea sources and had them shipped to various distribution centers in the United States. After receiving orders on the pharmacy’s website, Guzman-Cabrera gave the order details and mailing addresses to his co-conspirators in the distribution centers. Those co-conspirators would then mail the drugs to the customer. Guzman-Cabrera’s co-conspirators also received payments on his behalf and sent money to the Dominican Republic via a variety of money transfer methods.
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss:
“As alleged, Jose Francisco Guzman-Cabrera was the kingpin of a drug trafficking organization that distributed dangerous opioids to individuals throughout the United States through a website purporting to be an online pharmacy. Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and USPIS, Guzman-Cabrera is now in United States custody and facing prosecution in this District.”
In 2018, the investigators searched a residence in New Jersey believed to be one of the Guzman-Cabrera’s distribution centers. The search resulted in the seizure of approximately 100,000 pills. Some of the pills reportedly contained the fentanyl analogue p-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl while others contained U-47700.
USPIS Inspector in Charge James Buthorn:
“As alleged, Guzman-Cabrera put citizens across the United States in harm’s way through his criminal syndicate, intentionally disregarding people’s safety. No border will stop the United States Postal Inspection Service from bringing alleged criminals like Guzman-Cabrera to justice. We are proud of our partnerships both domestic and international, as well as our technological and analytical advancements in recent years that are bringing positive results, making cases like this possible. Illicit narcotics traffickers, utilizing the open web or dark web, should know we are coming for you. I would also like to stress to the public the need to research your online pharmaceutical vendors, ensuring the medicines you order are safe. I commend the agents and inspectors on the successful outcome of this case.”
Guzman-Cabrera was arrested on July 3, 2020, in the Dominican Republic. He was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in the Manhattan federal court on September 2, 2020. A three-count indictment unsealed during the court appearance charged Guzman-Cabrera with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, one count of distribution of controlled substances over the Internet, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.