A man who has been accused of being one of the leaders of a large drug gang has been convicted in a Florida federal court. The man was charged with a federal drug crime pertaining to his involvement in trafficking of cocaine and other drugs into the country. This conviction comes after an investigation that led authorities to believe that the man was instrumental in creating a new system for delivering drugs to the U.S.
Authorities accused the man of being the second in command person with the Morfi drug trafficking gang. Though the gang is thought to have sent $1 billion in cocaine into the country, the individual in this case was not accused of the entire amount. The Morfi gang was allegedly instrumental in the development of semi-submerged submarines that are said to be commonly used to bring drugs from foreign countries into Florida and other states across the country.
In addition to the man recently convicted of federal drug charges, there is another member of the Morfi gang awaiting extradition Florida. The alleged ringleader of the Morfi gang is in a prison in Colombia pending his extradition to Florida. Assuming that he is extradited here, authorities expect to charge him federal drug crimes.
Though a conviction for a federal drug crime can lead to punishment that includes life in prison, not all who face such charges are convicted. Nevertheless, there is a substantial difference between being accused of a crime and actually being convicted of one, and that applies as much to drug charges as it does to any criminal allegation. In this case, the accused man was convicted after a jury trial, and his attorneys are likely working to make a plea on their client's behalf concerning the upcoming sentencing hearing. They may also be considering an application to the court for a new trial based upon specified objections, as well as considering what avenues may be available to their client for an appeal of the verdict.
Source: Reuters, "Florida convicts leader of Colombian narco sub gang," Tom Brown and M.D. Golan, Aug. 23, 2012