A Cuban man who reportedly tried to purchase a submarine from the Russian military for the benefit of a drug trafficking network in Florida is in trouble with law enforcement officials again. This time, the defendant pleaded guilty to involvement with a conspiracy that involved the transport of large quantities of marijuana into the state. The man now faces sentencing in October on charges that could result 40 years in prison.
According to media reports, the man fled the country to escape drug charges filed against him in Florida’s Southern District in 1997. Prosecutors alleged that he was a high-ranking member of a drug gang operating in the state throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The charges filed against him in 1997 involved bringing kilograms of cocaine into the United States with the intent to distribute them to smaller dealers. The 62-year-old man was reportedly able to avoid federal authorities by hiding in South Africa. Federal authorities would later dismiss the charges against him.
The current conspiracy investigation against the man opened in 2015 and resulted in indictments for three of his companions in 2017. The arrest of the man happened in Italy in October 2017. The Italian Justice Ministry took two years before agreeing to the extradition request submitted by federal officials in the United States. The extradition finally took place in July 2019.
A conviction for selling large quantities of illegal drugs can result in life-changing consequences for the convicted person. However, a criminal defense attorney with experiences in these types of cases may be able to highlight mitigating factors in an attempt to convince the court that the person is both capable and worth of a good life in the future. Defendants arrested on felony drug charges may find the most benefit from an attorney by involving them as early in the process as possible.