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Man allegedly involved in coke ring faces drug trafficking charge

A man who had been on the run for years was recently apprehended in Mexico and deported to Florida. The man was allegedly involved in a $14 million drug-smuggling ring that operated out of South Florida. He will soon be facing federal charges for drug trafficking as well as conspiracy, authorities say.

At the time of his arrest, the 55-year-old man was found with a Mexican driver's license, an international driving permit and another ID card that had his photo on it but displayed someone else's name, federal prosecutors said. He had been indicted on federal conspiracy and drug-trafficking charges in July 2013 and was declared a fugitive one month later. Authorities allege that the man played a pivotal role in a massive drug-trafficking ring discovered shortly after a sailboat incident occurred in Port Everglades in early Jan. 2010.

When investigators searched the sailboat that had run aground, they discovered almost 740 pounds of cocaine located in a hidden compartment. Though the man was not aboard at the time, he was later connected to the apparent smuggling venture, according to investigators. Both he and another man faced accusations that they were aiding in arranging two shipments of cocaine -- which totaled 1,047 pounds -- between the Dominican Republic and Port Everglades, Florida.

If he is convicted of these charges, the man could face anywhere between 19 and 33 years in a federal prison, prosecutors said. However, the accused individual will be entitled to a criminal defense and legal representation at every stage of the federal criminal proceedings. Because drug trafficking violations come with such severe penalties, individuals in Florida accused of similar crimes typically choose to consult with an experienced defense attorney to provide guidance and support in defending against the accusations.

Source: sun-sentinel.com, "Fugitive charged in $14M cocaine ring caught in Mexico and returned to Broward", Paula McMahon, Feb. 4, 2016

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