A Navy SEAL with cocaine worth $350,000 was caught at Miami International Airport thanks to the Navy SEAL’s nervous wife who forgot the suitcase holding 10 kilos of cocaine in an overhead bin in the airplane that the couple had taken. As reported by the Miami Herald on May 3, “the cocaine-smuggling operation that ex-Navy Seal Angel Martínez-Ramos tried to pull off at Miami International Airport failed because his wife refused to follow his instructions, according to court records.”
The quite interesting cocaine incident of Navy SEAL Angel Martínez-Ramos and his Colombian wife Bibiana Marcela Lopez-Correa happened last December. In January, both were indicted for the illegal drug smuggling of 10 kilos of cocaine. After first pleading not guilty, both changed their minds to guilty in March. Lopez-Gorrea was sentenced last month to almost six years in prison. Her Navy SEAL husband is scheduled to be sentenced later in May. He is facing a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of a life sentence.
Martínez-Ramos had been a Navy SEAL for 14 years and used to be responsible for anti-drug operations. He had experience working in Central and South America. After he left active duty in 2010, he continued as a member of the Naval Reserves, but apparently now on the other side of the drug-smuggling business. After his arrest, a search of the Navy SEAL’s home turned up drug paraphernalia including drug testing kits, a money counter, a scale, a vacuum sealer, vacuum sealing bags, and other packaging material.
According to court documents, 36-year-old Martínez-Ramos had spent time with his wife at the Tropicana Resort in Aruba from where they couple was heading back to Miami. On the morning of Dec. 24, before leaving Aruba, the couple allegedly received a suitcase filled with 10 bricks cocaine in a bathroom at the Aruba airport by a co-conspirator. The cocaine had been tightly wrapped and packed into a black Totto brand suitcase weighing a little more than 22 pounds.
In order to avoid any suspicions, the couple had arranged to fly separately on the plane with the husband carrying his wife’s luggage while she carried the suitcase with the cocaine. Upon leaving the plane at Miami International Airport, the nervous wife however forgot the luggage and the cocaine packages were discovered.
The drug-smuggling couple was unaware that DEA agents in Colombia had already alerted the United States that Martinez-Ramos was suspected of trying to bring cocaine into the U.S. Upon the married couple’s arrival in Miami, agents were already expecting them.
In a Shakespearean twist to the Navy SEAL cocaine story, Martínez-Ramos’s wife told investigators that she left the suitcase with the cocaine on purpose on the plane because she wanted to divorce him. According to the criminal complaint filed by the United States against Martínez-Ramos, “defendant MARTINEZ-RAMOS told her to meet him in Aruba before traveling together to the United States. Co-defendant Lopez-Correa stated that she agreed to meet defendant MARTINEZ-RAMOS because she was going to divorce him and needed to initiate divorce proceedings in the United States.” As reported by the Miami Herald, Martínez-Ramos had instructed his wife to stay on the plane at Miami International Airport “until he called her on her cell phone. He never did.”