Bear Man With “Underground Grow Operation” Found Guilty In Cocaine Conspiracy Case

David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that a federal jury convicted a Bear, Delaware man on Monday on charges of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The defendant was acquitted on two related charges. U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark accepted the verdict.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Omar Morales Colon, age 44, imported 77 kilograms of cocaine into Delaware from California. The cocaine was smuggled inside four-foot-tall oxygen tanks. Colon was arrested shortly after giving his cocaine supplier $382,045 in cash in a hotel parking lot in Newark, Delaware. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also discovered a secret underground bunker beneath Colon’s residence, accessed by a tunnel behind a false fireplace, in which Colon hid a marijuana grow operation.

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Colon and his wife, Shakira Martinez, have also been charged with various money laundering offenses prosecutors said Wednesday. A trial date for the money laundering charges has not yet been set.

U.S. Attorney Weiss commented on the case, “The defendant was a sophisticated drug trafficker who conspired with others, including members of the Sinaloa cartel, to bring vast amounts of cocaine into Delaware. The DEA’s investigation led to the seizure of 17 kilograms of cocaine, pounds of marijuana, nearly $1 million in cash, and the conviction of a major drug trafficker. My office will continue working with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who profit from illegal drug operations.”

Colon faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison when sentenced. Judge Stark will determine the defendant’s sentence, after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer K. Welsh and Whitney C. Cloud are prosecuting the case. This case was investigated by the DEA Philadelphia Division.

Source: USDOJ

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