Costa Rican drug traffickers connected to Italian mob plead guilty to shipping cocaine to the U.S.
Five men plead guilty to international drug trafficking last Friday in a San Carlos courtroom, according to the Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office.
Costa Rican investigators said the men built up a trafficking organization by sending shipments of cocaine in containers of pineapple, yuca, and other produce exports shipped on boats to numerous countries, including the United States.
The criminal enterprise that was discovered in October of 2015 was found to have ties with the infamous ‘Ndràngheta crime syndicate, which Costa Rican prosecutors called “the most powerful Italian crime organization that operates all over the European continent.”
In the United States, the guilty parties were sending packets of cocaine to Queens, New York, where pizzeria owner Gregorio Gigliotti was the local contact. Gigliotti was arrested in May 2015 after authorities there found he had received nearly 55 kilograms of cocaine coming from Limón in the span of two months at the end of 2014. Another man, Franco Fazio, was arrested around the same time after authorities said he was the middleman between Gigliotti and the Costa Rican-based traffickers.
More than 3,000 kilograms found in Holland and 84 kilograms uncovered in Belgium were also traced back to the drug trafficking organization here.
Prosecutors said the convicted men were Cubans Denis Batista Cuenca and Pedro Casas Rodríguez, as well as Costa Rican nationals Juan José Campos Mora, Héctor Zúñiga Arias, and Carlos Zúñiga Arias. They will all receive between nine to 12 years of prison time, the report from the prosecutor’s office said.
You may be interested
Pic of the Day: A red-eyed tree frog in Bijagua, Costa RicaThe Tico Times - December 11, 2019
Hoppy Wednesday, everyone! The red-eyed tree frog has become a Costa Rican icon as a result of its ubiquity and…
Costa Rica takes final step in establishing when, how therapeutic abortions can be performedAlejandro Zúñiga - December 11, 2019
Costa Rica on Tuesday sent the text of a technical norm that will allow for therapeutic abortions in some instances…
NGO reveals serious torture and sexual abuse of prisoners in NicaraguaAFP and The Tico Times - December 11, 2019
Nicaraguan opponents jailed for protesting against President Daniel Ortega suffer torture and sexual abuse at the hands of their jailers,…