Ten people have been sentenced to over 22 years in the slammer, in connection for trafficking a ton and a half of cocaine on an Air France flight, according to the Public Ministry of Venezuela. The ten include three members of the National Guard.
The Bolivarian National Guard members were respectively in charge of a drug-sniffing canine, of operating an x-ray machine and of counting inventory. The other seven sentenced were airport personnel with duties including security and supervision.
The men will be held in Venezuela’s Judicial Confinement of the Yare I prison complex while the women will be held in the Institute of Feminine Rehabilitation in the city of Los Teques.
The attempted smuggling occurred three years ago. The coke was intercepted in France off of a flight out of Simón Bolívar International Airport in Venezuela. Seventeen people had successful appeals for their sentences, but the Public Ministry says, “those individuals will remain imprisoned until a decision by a court of appeals that will be based on possible further action by the prosecution.” UPI reports:
The alleged financier of the drug trafficking operation, Harry Augusto Romero Morales, was extradited to Venezuela on Thursday.
“Morales Romero was charged with the alleged commission of the offenses of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, money laundering and racketeering,” Venezuela’s Public Ministry said in a statement.