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Colombian National Conspired to Transport Hundreds of Kilograms of Cocaine into US

Edgar Ruiz-Gomez Faces Mandatory Minimum of 10 Years for Conspiracy to Import Hundreds of Kilograms of Cocaine

NEWARK, N.J.Edgar Ruiz-Gomez, a Colombian citizen, admitted to conspiring to import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Ruiz-Gomez, also known as "Gono," 57, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import five kilograms or more of cocaine before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court. The charge carries a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentencing is set for November 5, 2024.

From 2016 through January 2020, Ruiz-Gomez held a managerial role in a conspiracy involving more than five individuals to import large quantities of cocaine into the United States. This operation utilized routes from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the investigation to the DEA's special agents and task force officers under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz in Newark, as well as DEA agents in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. He also thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section’s Judicial Attaché’s Office at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombian law enforcement authorities, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation, which focuses on identifying, disrupting, and dismantling high-level criminal organizations that pose significant threats to the United States. More information about the OCDETF Program is available at

Assistant U.S. Attorney Farhana C. Melo of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark is prosecuting the case.

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