A drug trafficker was recently sentenced to six years in prison after feds tricked him into calling them to ask for his 13 pounds of cocaine back.
The sentencing comes nearly a year after Emmanuel Gutierrez, 33, and his co-defendant Carlos Gomez were arrested on drug trafficking charges following a bizarre sting operation.
Police made the cocaine bust after pulling over a car-carrying truck in Nashville as it headed to New York over a non-visible license plate.
Upon searching a 2011 Nissan Passenger on board the truck, officers discovered six kilos of cocaine and a handgun hidden in four “trap” compartments.
DEA agents then devised a trap to lure in the responsible parties. They simply left a note written in Spanish saying “call me,” along with a phone number of a DEA source in one of the compartments.
They then dropped the vehicle off at Uniondale in Long Island and waited for the criminals to take the bait.
Three days later, Gutierrez and Gomez called the number attempting to buy back the drugs and gun from the undercover DEA agent. They then arranged to pick up the contraband at a location in the Bronx.
The pair were subsequently arrested when they showed up at the meeting place.
The duo eventually pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy earlier this year.
During the sentencing, Gutierrez apologized for his actions, calling the last year a “horrible experience.”
“I haven’t been through anything like this before,” Gutierrez explained. Gutierrez was immediately incarcerated in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center following his arrest.
Judge Kevin Castel sentenced Gutierrez to six years in prison — one year longer than the mandatory minimum sentence requested by his defense attorney and sought after by prosecutors.
“This is not some technical offense,” the judge said in his concluding remarks. Castel’s decision was based on the fact that the hidden traps in the Nissan appeared to be “indicative of active drug trafficking.”
Gomez is due to receive his sentence in September.
DEA officials say that cocaine trafficking has been on the rise in New York over the past few years.
Remarking on the seizure of 920 kilos of cocaine in the city last year, DEA Special Agent Ray Donovan said: “This seizure signifies a shift in the illegal drug landscape in New York with cocaine seizures rising more than 150% in the last year. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to guard against drug trafficking organizations’ tactics and techniques to smuggle drugs into our country.”
There have been other similarly strange cocaine busts, like this one in the UK earlier this year.