Former heavyweight boxer charged with $1 billion cocaine trade

Former heavyweight boxer charged with $1 billion cocaine trade

Prosecutors called Mr. Gogic’s role “integral” to the operation, “as he oversaw the logistics of transporting cocaine from South America to Europe via the United States,” according to court documents.

In the period between May and July 2019. Gogić, together with others, circulated cocaine originating in Colombia and transported through American ports, with the ultimate goal of distribution in Europe, prosecutors said. At night, the cocaine was brought by speedboat to commercial cargo ships, hoisted aboard using a crane and loaded onto vessels. The illicit shipments were then hidden in containers. Overall, prosecutors said, the process was a “complex operation” of logistics that required access to many details, including each ship’s crew, route, real-time positioning and awareness of “legitimate cargo” in containers.

In Europe, the international drug conspiracy relied on another group of port workers to “covertly access and remove cocaine from shipping containers,” prosecutors said, adding that “significant amounts of cocaine” were seized at ports in Panama, Peru and the Netherlands, as well as in other countries.

Ivan J. Arvelo, the special agent in charge of homeland security investigations in New York, said Mr. Gogic’s arrest sent “a message to narcotics traffickers around the world that they are not free to rob international maritime commerce with impunity.”

Mr. Gogic will be arraigned later in the Eastern District of New York, prosecutors said. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

Mr. Gogic, who is considered a flight risk, is being held at a federal detention center in Miami, where he awaits a bail hearing next week, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Several others involved in the bust in Philadelphia in June 2019 have already been arrested and convicted. Seven crew members of the MSC Gayane have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, prosecutors said. At least three of these people were sentenced last year to more than five years in prison.

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