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Contraband
02/01/2008

CBP officer convicted in drug distribution scheme

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer was convicted here today by a federal jury of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count 1).

Edwin Disla was also convicted of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 2 (Count 2) attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1)).

According to evidence at trial, defendant Disla was employed as a CBP officer assigned to the Miami International Airport from January 2007 through March 28, 2007, in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Disla agreed to transport multi-kilogram amounts of heroin and cocaine from Puerto Rico to either New York or Miami.

On Feb. 9, 2007, Disla delivered 10 kilograms of purported cocaine to individuals in Hallandale, Fla. While transporting the sham cocaine through the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in Puerto Rico and Miami International Airport, Disla used his law enforcement authority to bypass security.  On March 28, 2007, Disla was arrested in Puerto Rico having received duffel bags containing 25 kilograms of sham cocaine and 20 kilograms of sham heroin from undercover agents with the Puerto Rico Police Department assigned to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Task Force.

The defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  Sentencing is scheduled before Senior United States District Court Judge William Zloch on April 11, 2008.

The announcement was made today by R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Steven J. Mocsary, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, and Donald J. Balberchak, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, and Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General.  The Puerto Rico Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also participated in the investigation.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Clark.