Two Colombians and one Belizean were found guilty this week of participating in an international cocaine smuggling conspiracy. The three men tried to smuggle at least 600 kilograms of cocaine, worth approximately $18 million, onboard a vessel that was bound for the United States.
28-year-old Rudolph Randolph Meighan was the Belizean load guard for a Cartagena, Colombia-based cocaine smuggling crew, which included 48-year-old Jorge Ramon Newball-May and 59-year-old Calbot Reid-Dilbert (both from Colombia) as crewmembers.
Honduras Rise cocaine route
Prior to their interdiction by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the men were transporting approximately 30-to-40 bales of cocaine onboard a go-fast vessel from Colombia to Belize, following a known cocaine smuggling route known as the “Honduras Rise.”
A USCG HC-130 aircraft deployed from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina spotted and recorded the defendants onboard a go-fast vessel traveling north at a high rate of speed, approximately 110 nautical miles southwest of Jamaica on December 1, 2018.
Going down with the ship
In an attempt to destroy evidence and evade capture, the men jettisoned all of the cocaine bales onboard the vessel and sank them to the ocean bottom, by tying the bales to their outboard engines and throwing the engines (their only means of propulsion) overboard. The USCG aircrew thwarted that attempt and was able to observe and record most of the jettison.
Later that day, the men and their now engine-less vessel were interdicted and boarded by USCG law enforcement officers from Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) Pacific. That boarding yielded crucial evidence consistent with cocaine trafficking, including trace amounts of cocaine present on the smuggling vessel and the defendants.
Life in prison
Randolph Meighan, Newball-May, and Reid-Dilbert now face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. Their sentencing hearings are scheduled for August 7, 2019. A fourth defendant, Emiro Hinestroza-Newbbooll, is awaiting trial.
Get the latest on organized crime and the Mafia at Gangsters Inc.'s news section.
Copyright © Gangsters Inc.