Former federal agent who aided organized-crime figure is sentenced to 10 years in prison for smuggling 10 million ecstasy pills out of the country
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A federal judge sentenced former FBI agent Michael J. Brescia to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for his role in a massive ecstasy smuggling operation that delivered pills to the West Coast.
Brescia, 52, and his right-hand man, Jose Luis Perez, 46, had planned to smuggle 30 kilos (66 pounds) of ecstasy into the United States. Perez, a former agent, was to take the drugs inside an airplane toilet. During the flight, the toilet was to be used as a decoy to lure narcotics investigators. Once they found the drugs, the bathroom would be searched, and the drugs would be destroyed.
Perez was arrested in the U.S., and Brescia and he were both indicted on two cocaine-trafficking charges. The government’s evidence included a videotape of Perez stealing a $150,000 Rolex watch.
At Tuesday’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer described the duo’s plan as “brilliant.”
“In the end, they were brilliant. They knew exactly what they were doing from the moment they started this, through their arrest, through the discovery of the watch,” Breyer said.
Brescia, who was married to a top drug agent in the U.S. attorney’s office