Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
September 4, 2009
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
SUR 13 Gang Member and Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 35 Years for Criminal Racketeering, Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced an Orange County man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison and $510,000 in fines for criminal racketeering charges and drug trafficking charges stemming from his involvement in a narcotics trafficking enterprise in Central Florida. Juan Javier Romo-Jimenez, of Apopka, was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
Romo-Jimenez was among 36 defendants indicted by the 18th Statewide Grand Jury on numerous charges related to drug trafficking. The indictment was handed down in April 2008 and was the result of an 11-month investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Court-ordered wiretaps were used to expose a multi-jurisdictional cocaine trafficking enterprise that was receiving cocaine from Mexico and distributing the drugs throughout Apopka, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Orlando, Eustice, Zellwood and Mount Dora communities. Romo-Jimenez, a documented SUR 13 gang member, was at the heart of the operation that was responsible for trafficking in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of powder and crack cocaine.
Authorities determined that Romo-Jimenez, 32, received shipments of cocaine from two codefendants. As part of the investigation, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized thousands of dollars in cash and four kilograms of cocaine, worth more than $400,000 in terms of street value.
Circuit Judge Bob LeBlanc handed down the sentence this morning after Romo-Jimenez was determined by the court to be a SUR 13 gang member who committed his crimes to benefit, further, or promote the interests of the SUR 13 gang. The other 35 defendants have already been prosecuted and all received sentences related to their involvement.
The joint investigation was conducted by the Orange County Sheriff's Office Gang Enforcement Unit, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Apopka Police Department, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.