Angel Zayas Chico, 34, of Puerto Rico, will spend the rest of his life in prison for Conspiracy to Traffic in Cocaine (150 Kilograms or More) and Attempted Trafficking in Cocaine (150 Kilograms or More). He was convicted of the charges in November 2017 following a three day trial in Charlotte County.
Today Zayas Chico was sentenced to life in prison on the Conspiracy charge and 15 years in prison to be served concurrent on the Attempted Trafficking charge. He must also pay a $250,000 fine.
In April 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a shipping container in Port Miami that was being shipped from the Dominican Republic to a warehouse in Punta Gorda. It had just under 650 pounds of cocaine inside, hidden within small boxes.
Officers replaced the actual cocaine with sham cocaine, a powder that looked like the drug. They also installed tracking devices inside the boxes to monitor the movement of the shipment as it traveled across the state to Punta Gorda. Law enforcement watched as Chico picked up the cocaine as it entered the city and then arrested the defendant.
Assistant State Attorney Scott Patterson prosecuted the case.
State Attorney’s Office