Orlando, Florida– U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Juan Almeida (59) and Andrew Cassara (38), both of Boca Raton, to six and seven years in federal prison, respectively, for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. They pleaded guilty on November 6, 2017.
A third co-conspirator, Wade Jones, Jr., previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced on February 7, 2018, to 13 months’ imprisonment.
According to court documents, in January 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating the conspirators’ drug trafficking activities, which involved the distribution of large amounts of high-grade marijuana to individuals and groups. In August 2014, another group of drug traffickers had stolen approximately $250,000 of marijuana from the conspirators. In February 2015, during a recorded meeting, the conspirators discussed recouping their debt from the drug traffickers and continuing their drug distribution activities. A few days later, law enforcement seized more than 1,300 pounds of high-grade marijuana from a storage facility in Orlando and a house linked to Cassara.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean P. Shecter.