Mexican “narcopilot” appears before a US judge, after being deported from Paraguay

A Mexican pilot appears this Monday for the first time before a federal judge in Connecticut to face charges for his participation in a network of cocaine trafficking to the United States, after being deported last Friday from Paraguay.

According to the US Attorney’s Office in New Haven, Ronier Sanchez Alonso46, was charged along with others by a grand jury with conspiring to possess, with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine on a US-registered aircraft.

The Mexican was arrested by Interpol on March 25, 2021 in the city of Asunción, Paraguay, following an order issued by the United States, and had arrived in that country to allegedly buy a jet-type aircraft to continue his illicit activities. as reported at the time of his arrest.
According to the indictment, the Mexican allegedly conspired with others to transport approximately 1,700 kilograms of cocaine to the United States from South America, the Prosecutor’s Office also indicated.

The document also indicates that Sánchez Alonso and fellow pilot Rupert de las Casas flew a private jet, with United States registration, from the Dominican Republic to Venezuela on August 6, 2016, where they were going to load it with cocaine. On that flight Sánchez Alonso was the co-pilot.

From Venezuela they were going to fly to Honduras to unload the drug and have it placed on trucks for transport to the United States through Mexico. A false flight plan presented to the authorities in the Dominican Republic reported that the destination of the trip was Brazil.

However, the plane crashed shortly before landing in Venezuela and Sánchez, de las Casas and another co-conspirator, Arrison de la Cruz, evaded capture by Venezuelan authorities and the cocaine was returned to Colombia.

De Las Casas, who was a resident of Florida, pleaded guilty and is in custody awaiting sentencing. The Prosecutor’s Office did not reveal when he was arrested.

De la Cruz, a Dominican citizen who had worked at the airport in his country, helped coordinate the trip from there without interruption.

At the time of his arrest, which was also not specified, the Dominican, who lived in Connecticut, was sentenced in November 2019 to serve 12 years in prison after pleading guilty, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

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