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Inmate’s urine didn’t look right. Now he’s pleaded guilty to distributing coke in prison

Miami Herald
A prison inmate serving five years at Miami’s Federal Correctional Institution may extend his stay four-fold after a judge hands down a sentence later this spring.

The feds say Pedro Jose Collazo-Prieto, 26, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute — while inside prison.

The guilty plea, entered on March 21, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, means Collazo-Prieto, who was scheduled for release in July 2026 on unrelated charges, may face up to 20 years in federal prison. He has a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez on May 31.

According to prosecutors, correctional officers found Collazo-Prieto with more than 50 grams of cocaine, divided among 21 plastic baggies, and one larger, unsealed plastic bag, also containing cocaine during a routine search at the correctional institution. In addition to the cocaine, he was found with more than 17 grams of marijuana.

Collazo-Prieto may have been undone by his urinalysis. The “cold and dark” brew he proffered didn’t pass muster with the officers, according to a proffer filed with the Southern District of Florida court.

“The defendant failed his urinalysis by providing a sample that was cold and dark which, therefore, did not comply with the urinalysis requirements,” the court document read.

The simultaneous pat-down didn’t help Collazo-Prieto. Officers found stamps, a form of currency in prison, on his person. A suspicious FCI captain ordered a visual search and that’s when officers found the cocaine and marijuana.

“The defendant agrees that the quantity of the substances and the way in which they were packages is inconsistent with personal use and is consistent with an intent to distribute the substances within FCI,” the proffer said.

Collazo-Prieto, his court-appointed attorney and Elizabeth Noonan-Pomada, the lead prosecutor, signed the factual statement, as well as his plea agreement.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other counts — the marijuana possession — in exchange for a guilty plea on the cocaine possession with intent to distribute charge.

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