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Last cocaine cowboy pleads not guilty to federal drug charge

The last one of the state's legendary cocaine cowboys will plead not guilty to smuggling drugs after being on the run for 26 years. He has been living in a suburb of Orlando, Florida, with his wife under false names. Authorities arrested the man for the federal drug charge while he and the wife were on a 40-mile bike ride.

The 55-year-old is facing a potential life sentence on drug trafficking charges from almost three decades ago. On May 11, he plans to plead not guilty and ask for a trial by jury, according to his attorney. In the meantime, his attorney will be reviewing the case.

This man, along with his brother and seven other men, was charged in the major federal grand jury indictment back in 1991. At that time, he disappeared. All of the men involved had been accused of smuggling 75 tons of coke into the United States, bringing in a sum of about $2 billion. These crimes supposedly took place during the 1980s.

For almost 24 years after he vanished, investigators thought he had left the country. A break in the case led them to Kissimmee, Florida, where he was found. Ironically, his brother is due to be released on June 17.

Anyone in Florida who is facing a federal drug charge has the right to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. While drug charges can be serious in the state, this type of lawyer will help the client determine the best way to handle the case. Whether a client intends to plead not guilty or face the allegations, the criminal lawyer will fight to get the client the lightest sentence possible.

Source: usnews.com, "Lawyer: Last 'Cocaine Cowboy' to Plead Not Guilty", Curt Anderson, April 25, 2017

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Ian F. Mann PA

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