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Contraband
10/02/2009

Third largest marijuana seizure at MIA

MIAMI - A former resident of Broward County was sentenced Oct. 2 to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the third largest importation of marijuana at Miami International Airport with an estimated street value of $4.3 million following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Ryan Gayle, 32, was sentenced in the Southern District of Florida before District Court Judge Richard W. Goldberg to 121 months in federal prison and five years supervised release.

On Nov. 30, 2006, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Miami International Airport seized approximately 3,540 pounds of marijuana concealed inside cargo manifested as black pepper and seasoning coming from Kingston, Jamaica. The seizure was the result of a long term undercover investigation conducted by ICE special agents in Miami, who determined that the intended recipient of the marijuana was Ryan Gayle.

During the course of the investigation, ICE special agents documented several attempts by Ryan Gayle to unlawfully import other marijuana shipments concealed aboard commercial cargo flights in May 2007 and August 2007 into Miami International Airport.

In August 2008, ICE special agents arrested Gayle on charges related to the conspiracy to import marijuana into the United States with the intent to distribute. Gayle was found guilty following a federal jury trial for importation and conspiracy to import over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in May.

The investigation was conducted by ICE's Office of Investigations in Miami with the assistance of CBP Field Operations.

Assistant United States Attorney Andrea Hoffman prosecuted the case.