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Miami Men Caught in Elaborate Emerald-Cocaine

Two south Florida men created an elaborate plan to exchange of $300,000 dollars of emeralds for 10 kilograms of cocaine. In their grand scheme, the two men planned on using the money to repair a sail boat where they intended to smuggle nearly two tons of cocaine from Columbia to Italy. One of the men was a registered agent with Emeralds & Gems LLC, where they obtained the emeralds from.

However, their plans were cut short when an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) went undercover as a drug dealer offering the men cocaine for $28,000 per kilogram. As collateral, one of the men offered the undercover agent $15,000 worth of emeralds along with appraisal documents.

Early last month, the agent got in contact with the men after the DEA received word that the man was attempting to buy a large amount of cocaine and was offer money-laundering services. So the agent called the men to set up a meeting, which ultimately resulted in the first man's arrest.

Later, the agent met with the second man at the gem business called Joseph W. Tenhagen Appraisals Inc., where the man showed the undercover agent $215,000 worth of emeralds with the promise of a shipment of $600,000 and $900,000 worth of diamonds. The agent collected the emeralds and arrested him. The second man was later arrested with his 19 year old daughter after encountering another undercover agent when they attempted to pick up the drugs.

All three individuals face life in prison sentences along with the owner of the emeralds who was also involved in the deals.

If you have been accused of a drug crime call our Miami criminal defense firm today! The Law Offices of Paul D. Petruzzi, P.A. can provide the counsel and representation you need.