One of Florida’s major cocaine violators, who has been on the run for more than two years has been captured and deported back to Broward County. Jorge Luis Fleites-Sanchez, 55, was declared a fugitive in August 2013 after he got ghost a month after he was indicted on federal drug trafficking and conspiracy charges. The Cuban-born immigrant was found in Mexico where he has been hiding out.
Fleites-Sanchez stands accused of being a key operative in a $14 million South Florida cocaine smuggling ring. He was brought to the attention of the authorities when a sailboat, named the “Sea Ya,” ran was found stuck in Port Everglades on January 8, 2010. According to the Sun Sentinel, the crew aboard the ship acted so suspiciously the cops were called in. An investigation of the boat led to the discovery and seizure of 740 pounds of cocaine (roughly 335 kilos). “Two men on board, and a third man linked to the case,” pleaded guilty to charges were sentenced to prison time.
Fleites-Sanchez was not aboard the boat that day, but further investigation linked him and David “Cuban Dave” Mendez-Sicard, 60, to the load. The Sun-Sentinel reports:
Both men were accused of helping to arrange two shipments, totaling 1,047 pounds of cocaine, from the Dominican Republic to Port Everglades between 2008 and 2010. Fleites-Sanchez is accused of flying to the Dominican Republic to help coordinate transferring the drugs on to the boat that would bring it to South Florida, according to court records.
Mendez-Sicard pleaded guilty in 2014 and is sitting in the feds with a 2023 release date.
Details of Fleites-Sanchez’s apprehension are being kept low, but it is being reported that he used “an international driving permit, a Mexican driver’s license and a Sam’s Club card with his photo but someone else’s name” when he was arrested. When he made it to Miami International Airport after being deported, he held out his hands to be cuffed. According to prosecutors, “he was so relieved he was not going to have to continue to look over his shoulder.”
If convicted, Fleites-Sanchez will face 19 to 33 years in federal prison.