Colombian receives 10-year term in cocaine case involving heiress

December 06, 1992|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

A Colombian was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Baltimore Friday to 10 years in prison for selling at least 29 kilograms of cocaine to the boyfriend of margarine heiress Sandra Filbert Amos.

In handing down the sentence, Senior Judge Herbert N. Maletz dismissed defense arguments that Guillermo Moran, 35, was involved in a smaller drug ring than the one linked to Amos, an heiress to the Mrs. Filbert's Margarine fortune.

This was the second time that Moran has been sentenced in the case.

Judge Joseph C. Howard sentenced Moran to 18 1/2 years and Amos to 14 years after their 1989 convictions on drug conspiracy charges.

Those convictions were overturned on appeal. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court ruled in July 1991 that the jury should have been allowed to convict Amos on a less serious charge and that prosecutors unfairly were permitted to offer unrelated evidence against Moran.

Amos and Moran pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges after the reversals instead of facing a second trial.

Amos received a 37-month sentence last July 13 and was released four days later when prison officials determined she had already served her sentence after factoring in time for good behavior.

Yesterday, defense lawyer Gerald A. Kroop asked the judge to impose a seven-year sentence on Moran. He said his client had pleaded guilty only to being part of a small New York-to-Maryland connection. He said Moran was linked to the larger conspiracy only by flawed testimony.

Mr. Kroop said the jury convicted Moran on the evidence linking him to the New York-Maryland drug conspiracy, but had not necessarily found him guilty of being part of a larger operation involving the shipment of cocaine from Florida to Maryland.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Alsup said testimony in the earlier trial revealed that Amos' former boyfriend, convicted drug dealer Jeremiah Dennis Case, bought cocaine from Moran in Florida.

Mr. Alsup said Case told his pilot, who was an undercover narcotics agent, that he was flying to Boca Raton, Fla., to buy 50 kilograms of cocaine from Moran. He said another agent reserved a room adjoining Case's hotel room in Florida and listened through the wall as Case discussed buying drugs from "Willie," Moran's nickname.

Case testified against Moran in the 1989 trial.

"I would simply submit that the testimony of Mr. Case is corroborated, accurate, reliable and certainly worthy of belief," Mr. Alsup said.

Judge Maletz agreed. He said Moran was responsible for trafficking 4.08 kilograms from New York and 25 kilograms from Florida.

"This is part of the same criminal conduct to which he has pleaded guilty," the judge said.

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