Now you know all the females going be snitching…..
WILMINGTON, Del. – December 19, 2011 – Federal prosecutors on Monday announced
the unsealing of an indictment charging 12 people with smuggling and attempting
to smuggle cocaine and heroin from Panama into the United States. Authorities said
the ring distributed cocaine and heroin to street-level dealers in downtown Wilming-
ton; Elkton, Md.; and Avondale and Kennett Square, Pa. All defendants named in the
20-count superseding indictment, including a former Wilmington resident wanted
on an outstanding murder warrant, are charged with possession with intent to distri-
bute five or more kilograms of cocaine and one or more kilograms of heroin, and con-
spiracy to smuggle similar amounts of those drugs. Each of those charges carries a
mandatory prison term of 10 years upon conviction, and a maximum sentence of life.
Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kravetz said the smuggling network involved
female couriers who tried to cross the border between Mexico and Texas with packets
of uncut cocaine and heroin sewn into Lycra shorts, using a cucumber-aloe mixture to
try to thwart drug-sniffing dogs. After several couriers were arrested using that method,
the smugglers resorted to sewing packets of drugs into hair weaves and wigs. After re-
ceiving the drugs in Panama, the couriers traveled by bus or plane to Mexico, then
attempted to cross on foot into the United States at Texas border towns including Laredo,
McAllen and Brownsville. Authorities said 10 of the defendants named in the indictment
are either in custody or under supervised release, including three alleged couriers in Pan-
ama for whom authorities are seeking extradition. But the two alleged Panama-based
ringleaders, Efrain Dixon and Benjamin Carpenter, are still at large, authorities said.
Kravetz said Dixon, 31, fled to Panama City after a warrant was issued for his arrest in
connection with a 2006 murder in Wilmington. Dixon and Carpenter are believed to be
based in Colon, Panama, according to authorities. “We’ve had extensive cooperation
with authorities in Panama,” Kravetz said. Kravetz said Ronaldo Edmund, 36, of Wilm-
ington is related to Dixon and Carpenter was a key player in the alleged smuggling ring.
According to authorities, Edmund, along with Kelvin Cook, 33, of Newark, and Julio
Archer, 39, of Philadelphia, recruited the couriers to travel to Panama to get the drugs
from Carpenter and Dixon. Kravetz said Edmund, who was arrested in June, would
meet the couriers in San Antonio, then drive or take a Greyhound bus back to Wilming-
ton. Edmund, Archer and Cook remain in custody. Lawyers for all three men did not
immediately return telephone messages Monday. Authorities said 10 couriers have
been arrested in the United States and nine in Panama. Four have pleaded guilty to
smuggling charges and been sentenced in federal court in Texas, and another, Tissany
Buckham is awaiting sentencing in federal court in Delaware after pleading guilty in
August. Buckham’s attorney did not immediately return a telephone message Mon-
day. Kravetz estimated that the drug network allegedly smuggled or attempted to
smuggle at least 15 kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of heroin over a three-year
period starting in 2008.