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Bolivian pilots sentenced to 9 years after landing cocaine-filled plane near Mahahual

Mahahual, Q.R. — A federal court has sentenced two Bolivian pilots to nine years in prison for their part in the landing of a drug plane near Mahahual last year. The sentencing was handed down to Aldo L and Miguel B, both of whom were arrested January 28, 2020 after the plane they were flying was forced to land near the southern town of Mahahual.

The Gulfstream plane, when seized by local authorities, was found carrying 1,230 packages of cocaine. It had originated from Argentina.

On December 11, an abbreviated proceeding was held in which the judge decided to issue a conviction against both men, imposing a 9 year and 2 month prison sentence.

Government officials reported the plane, which was identified as a Gulfstream jet, left Argentina, made a stopover in Bolivia, flew over Venezuela and then landed in Mahahual, however, their final destination was Cozumel.

The drug, which was estimated at just over a ton of cocaine, was found distributed in 32 bags between the seats of the plane. The day before, another jet was successful in landing on a section of the Chetumal-Mérida short road.

From that plane, approximately 700 kilos of cocaine was seized after a confrontation between soldiers and drug traffickers in which a corporal died and the commander of the XXXIV Military Zone, Brigadier General José Luis Vázquez Araiza, was injured. In that incident, the plane’s original destination was Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas and not in Quintana Roo, where they were forced to land after an air detection.