DEA: Major Source Of Cocaine Supply To Pensacola Is ‘Knocked Out’

October 20, 2020

A major source of the cocaine supply into Pensacola and Northwest Florida has been “knocked out”, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Gustavo Adolfo Pareja, 26, of Cali, Colombia, was extradited to Pensacola by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida after an extensive DEA investigation.

Pareja is charged with two federal drug trafficking conspiracy charges involving large amounts of cocaine that are alleged to have been imported into northern Florida.

“An apparent source of supply for cocaine into Pensacola has been knocked out,” said DEA Miami Field Division’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis. “Pareja is alleged to have participated in a highly brazen criminal scheme to open a pipeline into Northern Florida for illicit distribution that was shut down. Now, like others he conspired with, he will face serious federal narcotics trafficking charges as a result of his actions.”

Allegedly between January and August 2018, in both Northwest Florida and Colombia, former Master Sergeant Daniel Gould of the United States Army and Henry Royer, formerly of the United States Army and Army National Guard, conspired to distribute large amounts of cocaine.

Pareja is alleged to be the source of supply of the cocaine in Bogota, Colombia.

The conspiracy is alleged to have begun in early 2018 when Gould and Royer initially imported 10 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. Royer traveled to Colombia with U.S. currency to use as payment. Gould placed the cocaine in a gutted punching bag and had the package transported to Bogota to be placed on a United States military aircraft. A few days later, the cocaine-filled punching bag arrived at Duke Field, which is an auxiliary airfield of Eglin Air Force Base. Gould and Royer distributed the 10 kilograms of cocaine in Northwest Florida.

Gould and Royer then reinvested the money from the first load of cocaine into a second load of 40 kilograms of cocaine. Gould placed approximately $65,000 in cash on a United States military cargo aircraft destined for Colombia as funds for the next purchase. In early August 2018, Gould and Royer returned to Colombia and provided money for the 40 kilograms to Pareja, their alleged cocaine supplier.

Gould and Royer received the cocaine, loaded the 40 kilograms into two gutted punching bags, and coordinated transport to the embassy before flying back to the United States. Suspicion was aroused at the embassy when packages were x-rayed, revealing cocaine within gutted out punching bags.

On August 13, 2018, when the cocaine was seized at the embassy, Gould had already returned home and was awaiting its arrival. The 40 kilograms of cocaine would have an estimated value in excess of $1 million in the Northern District of Florida. Gould and Royer have pled guilty to their involvement in the criminal activity and are serving sentences in federal prison.

If convicted, Pareja faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years up to life in federal prison. A trial date will be set before Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola.


34 Responses to “DEA: Major Source Of Cocaine Supply To Pensacola Is ‘Knocked Out’”

  1. Jaco on October 23rd, 2020 6:32 am

    Who will not fill the void? What they did has been going on since the days of bootleg-taken straight from Netflix. They got greedy and the Colombian should have known not to trust an American, particularly one who supports Trump. Oh well, he lived, learned, and will be out in before his 40th Birthday.

  2. DAVID FRANKLIN on October 21st, 2020 8:31 pm

    @Tabby …….. That’s what I’m talking about! Go girl :)

  3. Gregor on October 21st, 2020 1:22 pm

    Many of the problems individuals experience as a result of addiction to illegal substances stem from the illegality of the drugs themselves. Our jails are full of people who would’ve benefited more from mental health care and medically supervised detox than living in a cage where they can engage in risky behavior to self-medicate mental health problems that are only getting worse.

    But then again, we live in a world where people believe in BS like “spare the rod, spoil the child”, so we’ll continue throwing good money (tax dollars) after bad. It won’t change with people like Matt “Rick” Gaetz, Ron DeSantis, and Donald Trump in office. Their donors profit off the private prison system, and their agenda to militarize police departments is fueled by stoking YOUR fears about drugs.

    tl;dr Drug use/addiction are mental health issues–not crime; and big drug bust stories are just fear-stoking, police-state propaganda.

  4. Frank on October 21st, 2020 12:57 pm

    The war on drugs is pathetic and I believe being human with free will, you should be able to put whatever you want in your body. It’s all about money.

  5. Tabby on October 21st, 2020 12:11 pm

    Cocaine ? (-: Ha ! If you really broke the stats down, I’d bet big money that crime from cocaine is relatively miniscule among drug crime. It’s like early 80’s cocaine use. The kind of person using cocaine anymore are either early IV users or people that still live a normal lifestyle. You can find a far worse class of people than cocaine users. Hell, a liberal for example.

  6. Bonnie on October 21st, 2020 11:32 am

    Here’s my comment to all the addicts on this page what the DEA is doing to help and protect is a good thing. So if anyone thinks that cocaine or meth or any other drug in that manner should be legalized should go to jail right along with this man. Now I do believe in the medical purposes of marijuana that should be legalized and taxed but anything else harder than that NO! My little sister almost died because of crap like this, my father as well. So cocaine and meth and or crack or what ever else anyone can think of in that manner needs to be stopped.

  7. Berto on October 21st, 2020 10:12 am

    Get rid of paper money.

  8. No Excuses on October 21st, 2020 9:10 am

    Legalize cocaine? NO. It’s worse than than the worst. Educate our citizenry? We’ve been doing that for years. People who choose to use pay the price. I know that sounds heartless, but it’s a fact. No one ever became addicted by NOT using or making the conscious choice to pick up that needle, pipe, straw and snort or whatever. These dealers are supplying a demand. If the demand goes away, so do the dealers. I think there is equal responsibility on BOTH sides of this equation.

    As for living better in prison? I worked for the FEDS for 20 years. It’s not better. They have basic rights and needs met, but they are required to live in a way that many of you would not like very much. It’s a human warehouse.

  9. Lance on October 20th, 2020 11:42 pm

    Extradite great so us taxpayers can pay for them to live better than us in jail.

  10. Shorty on October 20th, 2020 10:38 pm

    I believe as an addict that they should legalize all drugs and tax just as they have done with marijuana and let this help our nation to truly understand what were dealing with head on by placing the revenue into rehabs, education , and most importantly for our children to be very knowledgeable so they no what it is before they even decide to ever pick up. We waist so much money fighting these drugs when we the people if we didn’t buy there would be no supply so why not use the money and make are nation way more resoursecful then ever . The crime alone with these drugs will be dropped to damn near nothing. That should mean something all but its self. And I agree they always get the small fish to let the shark swim free

  11. Cheri on October 20th, 2020 9:08 pm

    USA Government is killing the USA people, not the drug dealers.US government is the biggest drug dealers in the world. Been since the war

  12. Laura Cornwell on October 20th, 2020 9:08 pm

    Read Don Winslow’s trilogy on the people of the America’s affair with power, money and drugs. While fiction, the novels help lay people understand many aspects of a frequently mis-conceptualization that most have about it all. This is most certainly small fish that is laid out in this article.

  13. Christina Hansen on October 20th, 2020 8:29 pm

    Legalize and tax

  14. Sam Nei on October 20th, 2020 8:15 pm

    The big boys didn’t even notice that missing.. guaranteed

  15. Livin in pain on October 20th, 2020 7:48 pm

    It’s because of people like this that millions of people live in horrible pain every day. Veterans are no longer allowed pain meds! That is cruel as is forcibly reducing/removing ppl who live in agonizing pain every day and take their meds as prescribed. All in the name of “controlling the Opioid crisis” which was and continues to be as a result of ILLEGAL drugs! The powers that be just want to look like they’re doing something when what they’re really doing is punishing ppl who are unable to fight. Can you get pain control after surgery now? NO, if you get any, and if it’s a big if, it’s minimal and only for a couple days. Usually not long enough especially if it’s major surgery. There is tons of proof out there that legal pain meds are not the prob and the CDC gave intentional misinformation to get their ‘guidelines’ passed. They’ve admitted it, the AMA demanded it be redone legally, the WHO said the US is committing “cruel and unusual punishment” on ppl who live in pain every day. The suicide rate has skyrocketed due to ppl who can no longer tolerate the pain. This country should be ashamed of how they treat their citizens and Veterans!

  16. KENNETH HORTON on October 20th, 2020 6:45 pm

    It’s sad that the government claims that this was a major supplier more like low level. When they just busted 602 kilos of coke at border and 5400 pounds of meth. That’s a major supplier! I think it should all be legalized and taxed. Do you like they do in Amsterdam, go ahead and give them their own community, make sure that if they bring it out or have paraphernalia that they arrested and prosecuted, and produce it buy chemist that know what they’re doing and what they’re making provide a safe area for them to use in and make billions of dollars in Revenue from it.

  17. Lisa King on October 20th, 2020 5:06 pm

    Even if this seems like a small fish, it’s a win. Right? But sending two shipments the same way seems kinda stupid, if I were the bad guy. Makes me wonder what we missed for 10kilos?Where the small fish live so do the shark!

  18. Don Rojo on October 20th, 2020 3:10 pm

    The 40 kilos had to be snatched as a decoy so the other 500 kg onboard could make it thru. Of course this is hypothetical…or is it? Who’s the biggest crooks? The Feds

  19. Tee bone on October 20th, 2020 3:01 pm

    How did he have access to a military airlift flight?

  20. Countree on October 20th, 2020 3:00 pm

    Go All Branches Of Military….

  21. Bruce johnson on October 20th, 2020 2:59 pm

    It seems as if though the war on drugs is not affecting the supply & demand thingy. No easy solution it seems. Perhaps taking the huge amounts of currency’s that are involved in the trade and hyper-deflatlng at least what’s on the United States alleged vacuum end of it for whom;. It seems that the cartels are ultimately empowered. Violence corruption is prevalent here & there. A thought, decriminalization and legalization may prove to take quite the big bite outta crime.

    B.jonsun Ohio USA

  22. Countree on October 20th, 2020 2:57 pm

    have to survive in life

  23. Conservative centrist on October 20th, 2020 2:50 pm

    Legalize and tax. Use the money for programs, rehabs, drug education to children, etc.

  24. Huh on October 20th, 2020 12:55 pm

    Wait…reading this sounds like they only actually managed to get 10 kilos into the country and distributed to NWFL.
    The other 40 kilos were confiscated at the embassy and not distributed, right?

    If 10 kilos makes you a “major” source in NWFL it sounds like we don’t have a problem at all. :|

  25. Lester on October 20th, 2020 10:47 am

    I don’t believe that it’s the big deal that the headline makes it sound. Someone will fill the vacuum. A bunch of the coke goes to make crack. That will create a market that will be filled.

  26. JESUS CANALES on October 20th, 2020 10:38 am

    This is NOT a major source of cocaine being dismantled. This is a extremely small amount being pushed by rookies. Im glad this was stopped but this isn’t even a scratch on the surface.

  27. Paul on October 20th, 2020 10:29 am

    The market for drugs in this country and the financial incentives are so profitable Cartels will brake any significant deterrent the DEA implements. The enormity of the illicit drug trade in revenue went from over a $150 billion to nearly $300 billion in less than 10 years. GM and Ford revenue is less than that.

  28. Paul on October 20th, 2020 10:15 am

    The illicit drug problem in this country is so enormous and escalating that it is impossible for law enforcement to arrest their way out of it. Point is in heroin alone over 100 metric tons are entering our borders from Mexico alone. In 2005 it was 26 metric tons. Who in the hell is DEA kidding.

  29. R on October 20th, 2020 10:06 am

    Actually unbelievable that someone would do this anymore.

  30. DM on October 20th, 2020 8:39 am

    The love of money is the root of all evil.

  31. Allan Mitchell on October 20th, 2020 8:00 am

    This is a lifestyle for pareja. This was choice for the ex military.

  32. Go Army!!! on October 20th, 2020 7:31 am

    Small potatoes…. Supply and demand…. As long as there are weaklings snorting and pushing this poz’n, there will continued “brazen attempts” like this to get it distributed to your community/subdivision.

  33. Oversight on October 20th, 2020 7:15 am

    Over two years ago and it just now makes the news? Here’s proof that the wheels of justice turn slowly. And by the way, who was approving the military custom forms and inspections on the ground at Hurlburt or Elglin when the aircraft touched down? Eye roll… Oh yeah, Go Air Force!

  34. Matchbox on October 20th, 2020 2:19 am

    Had to get greedy. It will get you every time.

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