SEPTEMBER 10, 2012. Diego Vazquez is a free man. Attorney Bower Rodriguez demanded that he was innocent, yet the federal government insisted on going to trial on allegations of conspiracy to distribute 300 kilograms of cocaine worth at least $9,000,000. The federal jury agreed with Attorney Bower Rodriguez – NOT GUILTY.
Diego Vazquez is the owner of Caribbean Sun Movers, one of the top 5 moving companies in Puerto Rico. He started the company from the ground up after being fired from a competitor moving company for arriving late to work during a hurricane. Diego got his first customer many years ago by taking out a very small advertisement in the local newspaper in Puerto Rico. At first, Diego personally drove a rental truck, packed the household goods, and personally delivered, unloaded and unpacked them. Since that first customer, Diego was able to build Caribbean Sun Movers into a company with warehouses in Puerto Rico, Orlando, and Philadelphia, and equipment including large semi-trucks that rivals major national moving companies. As it turns out, Diego’s hard work and success was nearly his downfall.
Diego hired many employees over the years, including drivers of semi-trucks here in the continental United States. He also hired workers to pack and unload goods in the company’s various warehouses. Diego thought that he could trust these employees to competently perform their jobs, which included trusting them to make deliveries when he was at the main office in Puerto Rico. However, various employees took advantage of Diego over the years by shipping cocaine and cash to and from Puerto Rico in efforts to make extra money using Caribbean Sun Movers shipping containers and trucks. Diego took all the precautions a moving company should by instructing all of his employees to call police if they ever saw a suspicious package received by a customer. At the time of the arrests of his employees, Diego believed in their innocence because they claimed to not know that the boxes contained cocaine. Diego remained convinced that customers were using his company as a cocaine distribution network.
On March 5, 2012, Diego was arrested for conspiracy to traffic cocaine to and from Puerto Rico. The United States Attorney’s Office, DEA and the IRS accused Diego of operating Caribbean Sun Movers as a means of distribution of cocaine and millions of dollars and a front for drug trafficking organizations. Despite pressure from the government to plead guilty or be sentenced to life in prison if he were found guilty at trial, Diego and attorney Bower Rodriguez insisted on a trial because Diego was an innocent man. After several months of preparing for trial, including the review of over 4,000 pages of documents and reports as well as dozens of hours of video and audio recordings, the case was set for trial before Judge Sharp in the Orlando Division of the United State District Court. During the trial, the evidence showed that the confidential source, who was Diego’s Orlando warehouse manager and secretly worked for the DEA for 40 hours a week for nearly nine months trying to build a case against Diego, lied about several crucial issues. Under cross examination by attorney Bower Rodriguez, the DEA’s own confidential informant accused the DEA of lying or misreporting certain facts about what he told them. The evidence also showed that a former employee turned government informant lied about having seen Diego loading cocaine on to company trucks. On September 6, 2012, after spending six months in jail, Diego was found not guilty! The federal jury agreed with Attorney Bower Rodriguez that Diego was an innocent man.
Within hours of the verdict, Diego was released from jail to the arms of his anxious family and friends who had all come from Puerto Rico to support him during the trial.
USA v. DIEGO VAZQUEZ
Case No. 6:12-cr-32-GKS-GJK
Orlando Division, U.S. Middle District of Florida
Charges: Conspiracy to Distribute 5 kilograms or more of Cocaine
and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
District Court Judge G. Kendall Sharp
Magistrate Judge Gregory Kelly
Drug Enforcement Agency
Internal Revenue Service
Mandatory Minimum: 10 years federal prison
Guideline Range: Life Imprisonment
Jury Verdict: Not Guilty