Jarvis Hardy pleads guilty to drug trafficking, shooting DEA Task Force Officer Stephen Arnold; 21 years for cocaine smuggling boss

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Go Fast boat smuggling cocaine in the Caribbean seized by Coast Guard with more than $13 million worth of the drugs.

Jarvis Hardy pleads guilty to drug trafficking and firearms crimes and shooting DEA Task Force Officer Stephen Arnold

UPDATE: WHILE JARVIS HARDY HAS ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA, HE HAS NOT YET BEEN SENTENCED.

NEW ORLEANS – Jarvis Hardy, 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to multiple charges that led to the shooting of a DEA task force officer. Hardy is charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 280 grams or more of a mixture/substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base; distribution of a quantity of cocaine base; discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime; and intent to distribute twenty-eight grams or more of cocaine base.

As TFO Arnold led the team through the house, Hardy fired his Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol, three times at Arnold from a few feet away, striking him twice in the neck and arm.

The guilty plea followed a DEA investigation that revealed beginning no later than January 2015 and continuing until his arrest, Hardy distributed crack cocaine virtually every day throughout the streets of New Orleans. As a part of that investigation, DEA made four separate controlled buys of ¼ and ½ ounce quantities of crack cocaine from Hardy over an approximate ten-month timespan. Based on those controlled purchases, an arrest warrant for Hardy, along with a search warrant were obtained.

Jarvis Hardy pleaded guilty Aug. 6, 2018, to shooting Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Arnold. Photo from Facebook.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Deputy Stephen Arnold crippled for life by Jarvis Hardy’s gunfire.
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In the early morning hours of January 26, 2016, a team of law enforcement officers, led by DEA, gathered to prepare for the execution of Hardy’s arrest warrant. DEA TFO Stephen Arnold and several other agents and task force officers knocked and announced their presence and intention to execute the search warrant. As TFO Arnold led the team through the house, Hardy fired his Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol, three times at Arnold from a few feet away, striking him twice in the neck and arm.

At his home, Hardy had approximately 1 ½ ounces of crack cocaine, which later tested positive for cocaine base, and $985 in a safe in his bedroom, as well as instruments consistent with the conversion of cocaine hydrochloride to cocaine base, such as a crock pot. Hardy also had razor blades, a grinder, a mixer, and a digital scale. He also possessed two firearms, one of which he used to shoot TFO Arnold and one which he kept near the safe with his cash and crack cocaine.

Stephen Arnold was a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Detective and was a deputized DEA Task Force Officer with the DEA New Orleans, Louisiana Field Office.

Although Stephen Arnold survived the shooting, he remains completely incapacitated and receives 24-hour care in an assisted facility.

COAST GUARD UNLOADS SEVEN TONS OF COCAINE AT PORT EVERGLADES, FLORIDA; SEIZED FROM SMUGGLERS WITH SUBMARINES

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) and Tactical Law Enforcement Team South on top of a self-propelled semi-submersible they interdicted July 3, 2018. The cutter Mohawk crew routinely works with international partners while conducting counter-trafficking operations in the Eastern Pacific. (Coast Guard Photo)

One of the first gofast semi-submersibles captured by Coast Guard was interdicted by Cutter Mohawk on July 3, 2018. Photo by PO 3 Brandon Murray – close up

Moving on Up in the Narco Biz: Colombian narco-trafficker sentenced to 21 years; ran go-fast smuggling subs

JORGE ELIECER CIFUENTES-CUERO sentenced to 21 years in prison for supervising a fleet of go-fast boats smuggling drugs in Panama Express operation
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TAMPA, Fla. – Jorge Eliecer Cifuentes-Cuero, 54, Colombia, South America, was sentenced Aug. 2, 2018, to 21 years in federal prison for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine while aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

 

According to court documents, Cifuentes-Cuero was a principal member of his Colombian and Ecuadorean-based drug trafficking organization. He initially worked as a mechanic and mariner onboard vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and later, as he accumulated wealth, became an organizer of multi-ton cocaine loads transported by vessel from Colombia and Ecuador to locations in Central and Latin America. Cifuentes-Cuero is responsible for several maritime smuggling ventures in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In January 2013 and July 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted loads of cocaine, totaling over 1,000 kilograms that were being smuggled aboard vessels (commonly referred to as “go-fast boats”).

This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) comprised of agents and analysts from the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa District Office, the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South.   The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Coast Guard with a semi-submersible on the high seas with shipment of cocaine

The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Coast Guard raiding party seizing semi-submersible in Caribbean Coast Guard photo by PO 3rd Class Brandon Murray

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) and Tactical Law Enforcement Team South interdict suspected smugglers and evidence July 3, 2018. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations. (Coast Guard Photo)

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