Man from Bear, spouse, property management firm charged for drug trafficking, money laundering

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Omar Morales Colon, 40, of Bear, his wife Shakira Martinez,   39, and their company Zemi Property Management, Inc., were charged with numerous drug and money laundering offenses in a case that included the discovery of an underground bunker.

Colon, who also went by the nickname “El Tigre”  was originally indicted in June 2017 and charged with conspiring to distribute over 77 kilograms of cocaine and with possessing 175 marijuana plants that were found in an underground bunker at his house in Bear.

 The superseding indictment alleges that from 2013 until 2017, Colon, Martinez, and Zemi conspired to conceal Colon’s drug proceeds by depositing large amounts of cash into bank accounts, purchasing cashier’s checks or soliciting third parties to do so, and then using those cashier’s checks to purchase numerous properties in Delaware and Pennsylvania. 

U.S. Attorney Weiss said, “While Colon already faced serious charges for distributing large amounts of drugs, this Superseding Indictment shows that the United States Government will not only look to incarcerate drug traffickers – we will endeavor to take their drug proceeds and dismantle their criminal organizations.”

The IRS and DEA Group 41 are the lead agencies investigating this case.  DEA Group 41 is part of the New Castle County HIDTA, a collaborative effort established in January 2015 among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. 

Other agencies credited in the case were New Castle County Police Department, Newark Police Department, Delaware State Police, Newport Police Department, Wilmington Police Department, University of Delaware Police Department, State of Delaware Department of Corrections Probation/Parole, Maryland State Police, Middletown Police Department, Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

DEA Task Force Officer Paul Lawrence, Special Agent Jeremy Smith, and IRS Special Agent Michael Pohar are the case agents.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer K. Welsh and Whitney Cloud, along with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Barzi Axelrod from the Delaware Department of Justice. 

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