A man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to being part of a conspiracy that brought 40 pounds of methamphetamine and nearly 200 pounds of cocaine to Blue Grass Airport last year.
Isaac Basilio Rosas, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of a controlled substance.
The cocaine seizure was the second-largest in Kentucky, defense attorney Elizabeth Snow Hughes said. She based that claim on her discussions with investigators. Each of the 80 bricks of cocaine weighed 2.2 pounds, for a total of 176 pounds.
The largest seizure was in Henry County in 2004, when state police found about 800 pounds of cocaine after a traffic stop on Interstate 71.
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In a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Wier, Rosas expressed remorse.
“I would like to apologize to the state of Kentucky and to the whole country,” Rosas said through an interpreter. “Now I understand how my actions have hurt families and my own family.”
Wier scheduled sentencing for April 11. Rosas faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. Once he serves his sentence, he will be deported from the United States.
Rosas, who formerly worked in a hotel restaurant in Los Angeles, was indicted in April after a private twin-engine jet flew into Lexington from Van Nuys, Calif. Federal agents were tipped off to the plane’s arrival and the drugs it carried. An affidavit filed by a Homeland Security investigator said the plane was on its way to Atlanta and then to Florida.
A suitcase from the plane was loaded into a car that was later stopped by Kentucky State Police after it ran a stop sign. Drug-sniffing dogs detected drugs in the car, and more drugs were later found on the plane. The 80 bricks of cocaine were in three separate pieces of luggage found on the aircraft, according to a plea agreement.
Two other defendants who were indicted are Cedric Allen Oronce Fajardo and Robert Walter Carlson.
Fajardo pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He is to be sentenced May 1 in Lexington.
Carlson’s jury trial is scheduled for April 16 before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell.
A criminal complaint was dismissed in August against a fourth defendant, Kendra Michelle Caprice Tally.
Authorities saw Tally get off the plane and into the car, but she told investigators that she didn’t know the purpose of the aircraft’s stop in Lexington.