Costa Rican Men Charged with Smuggling Over 4,000 Pounds of Marijuana

Two Costa Rican men, Luis Orellana-Orellano, 48, and Keyran Coto-Lopez, 27, made their initial appearance in court Tuesday after being charged for smuggling over 4,000 pounds of marijuana aboard a vessel, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced.

According to court documents, on Nov. 7, 2022, while conducting a routine patrol in international waters in the Eastern Pacific, at approximately 65 nautical miles South of Boca Chica, Panama, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Campbell encountered a go-fast vessel with three individuals on board.

The vessel had the name “Agamenon” painted on the hull but had no physical flag flown and no registration documents or registration number. Bales of suspected contraband were also visible on the deck of the vessel. The master of the vessel claimed Colombian nationality, but Colombia could not confirm the origin of the vessel. The vessel was therefore treated as one without nationality, subjecting it to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Along with Orellana-Orellana and Coto-Lopez, a third individual, Alonso Hernandez-Hernandez, 38, was also charged in the drug smuggling operation. A search of the vessel revealed approximately 57 bales of suspected marijuana weighing 4,104 pounds. Two NIK field tests were conducted on the suspected substance, which both yielded positive results for marijuana. If convicted, both face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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