Florida Smuggler’s Drug Trafficking Charge May Be His Last


Luck has not always been on the side of one convicted drug smuggler from Florida. The 57-year-old has been hit time and again with drug trafficking charges, one time after being found floating on a life raft with 600 pounds of marijuana after his plane crashed into the Atlantic, in his 31-year history of run-ins with authorities. His latest charge, however, allegedly involved him attempting to smuggle 190 pounds of cocaine and a small amount of heroin on a sailboat spotted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He pleaded guilty to trying to import $1.7 million of the drug, and he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The smuggler told authorities that he had sailed from South Florida to the Bahamas, where he loaded the bricks of cocaine onto the sailboat to be brought back to Florida. Federal drug agents said that the plan was to sail to a dock behind a house in Fort Lauderdale, where he would unload the cocaine with accomplices. The man informed the agents that he was to be paid $172,000 for the smuggling and said that he had performed the run several times in the previous 10 years.

The man pleaded guilty to two charges of importing heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute. The charges call for a prison term of 10 years to life as well as fines of as much as $10 million per charge at his sentencing. His sailboat was forfeited to authorities.

An arrest for drug offenses in Orlando can lead to rough sailing. An attorney experienced in felony drug charge defense may help clients get back on course by working to negotiate a plea bargain in order to reduce charges and penalties.

Source: Orlando Sentinel , “South Florida drug smuggler has long history of getting caught“, Paula McMahon, October 18, 2013

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