Cocaine smuggler sentenced to 9 years in federal prison
The man found guilty of trying to smuggle a kilo of cocaine through the Port of Charleston was sentenced to nine years in federal prison Friday in Charleston.
Oscar Baptiste, also known as “Dread,” was also sentenced to four years of supervision after his release. He is also subject to deportation when he finishes serving his sentence, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Bianchi.
On Oct. 23, 2012, Baptiste was found guilty of importing more than 500 grams of cocaine into the United States from Panama on March 22, 2011.
Federal authorites got word that Baptiste was looking for a business partner that had access to the Port of Charleston and could help distribute cocaine that would be ripped out of containers from Panama, according to a federal affidavit. A confidential informant advised Baptiste that there was a dock worker available “that could assist,” the affidavit stated. According to the affidavit from a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Charleston, following multiple contacts between the informant and Bapstiste a cereal box with a 1.05 kilogram brick of cocaine was found in March tucked inside a container carried on a Maersk ship.
The container had been closed with a counterfeit seal, documents say.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.