Ex-Official in Dominican Republic Smuggled Drugs: Prosecutors

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Monday, Apr 8, 2013  |  Updated 11:22 PM EDT
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Ex-DR Official Smuggled Drugs: Prosecutors

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The former head of anti-drug operations in the Dominican Republic was sent to New York on charges he was actually a drug dealer, according to federal prosecutors.

Francisco Antonio Hiraldo-Guerrero, a former Dominican military official, was extradited on charges of conspiracy to import and distribute hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.

U.S Attorney Preet Bharara said it was "a classic case of the 'fox guarding the hen house.' Francisco Antonio Hiraldo-Guerrero was a corrupt public official who exploited his position atop the Dominican Republic’s drug control office to facilitate the importation of massive quantities of cocaine into the United States."

The one-time head of operations for that nation's drug enforcement agency arrived in New York over the weekend and was ordered held without bail.

Drug Enforcement agents and Homeland Security officials said Hiraldo-Guerrero had been involved in trafficking since 2001. He allegedly helped import 600 kilograms that year.

Officials said he also worked with international drug cartels to help smuggle cocaine from Colombia into the Dominican Republic.

"Hiraldo-Guerrero allegedly abused his ranking position within the military of the Dominican Republic and betrayed the public trust through his facilitation of drug trafficking," said New York's DEA director, Brian Crowell.

James Hayes of DHS said the 53-year-old Dominican official abused his authority for years. Court papers suggest a co-conspirator helped expose the alleged corruption.

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