Luis Orellana-Orellana, 59, of Costa Rica, was sentenced by Judge Wilma Lewis to 37 months incarceration after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute over 4,000 pounds of marijuana on board a vessel subject to jurisdiction of the United States, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Friday.
According to court documents, on Nov. 7, 2022, while patrolling in international waters in the Eastern Pacific, 65 nautical miles South of Boca Chica, Panama, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Campbell intercepted a go-fast vessel with no physical flag flown and no registration documents onboard. Bundles of contraband were visible on the deck of the go-fast vessel and Orellana-Orellana, Keyran Coto-Lopez and Alonso Hernandez-Hernandez were found on board. One of the three men on board claimed Colombian nationality for the go-fast vessel, but the Colombian Government neither confirmed nor denied nationality of the vessel. A search of the go-fast vessel by Coast Guard officers resulted in the recovery of 4,104 pounds of marijuana. Coto-Lopez was sentenced by Judge Lewisto to 48 months following his guilty plea, and Hernandez-Hernandez awaits a sentencing date.