Ex-boxer Goran Gogic was already accused of being involved with a $1 billion cocaine seizure.

Ex-boxer Goran Gogic

Ex-boxer Goran Gogic was already accused of being involved with a $1 billion cocaine seizure.

The US Department of Justice has charged a former heavyweight boxer with trafficking 22 tonnes of cocaine worth more than $1 billion (£870 million), the majority of which was part of one of the largest cocaine seizures in American history.

Goran Gogic, a Montenegrin national, was apprehended on Sunday night while attempting to board a flight from Miami International Airport to Zurich after being indicted by a grand jury in New York.

Ex-boxer Goran Gogic

The 43-year-old was charged with three counts of violating the federal Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act and one count of conspiracy.

Each count carries a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and a potential life sentence.

The charges stem from the seizure of 19,930kg (22 tonnes) of cocaine from three commercial cargo ships in 2019, including the MSC Gayane while docked at Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.

Prosecutors claimed that the conspirators transported cocaine from Colombia to Europe via American ports at night, using cranes and nets to hoist drugs onto cargo ships from approaching speedboats along the ships’ routes.

Prosecutors said the complex operation required knowledge of each ship’s crew, route and location data, and the availability of space to store drugs in shipping containers already aboard.

Gogic oversaw the logistics, coordinating with crew members, Colombian traffickers, and European dockworkers to benefit himself and his Balkan-based cartels, according to court documents.

Gogic’s lawyer, Lawrence Hashish, stated: “These charges caught him off guard. He maintains his innocence and came to the United States to attend a boxing convention in Puerto Rico.”

At least eight members of the Gayane crew have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.

Gogic was a boxer from 2001 to 2012, according to online records, winning 21 fights and losing four with two draws.

Source nsemwokrom.com