Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Woman found guilty of importing over $2 million in cocaine

A Las Vegas woman has been convicted in Phoenix of importing more than $2 million in cocaine through the port of entry at San Luis.

A federal jury found Darnelld Rebeca Colman, 28, guilty Friday of importation of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute. U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee ordered her taken into custody and set sentencing for Jan. 9.

Evidence showed that Colman drove her car from Mexico through the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis earlier this year. After being referred for a secondary inspection, Colman's car was found to have more than 20 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of over $2 million, hidden in a secret compartment in the roof.

A conviction for each count carries a minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $10 million fine or both and a term of supervised release of at least five years.

The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines provides appropriate sentencing ranges, but the judge is not bound by those guidelines.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The prosecution was handled by Sarah DeJong, special assistant in the U.S. Attorney's Office, and Robert K. Lu, assistant U.S. attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854.

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