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Bolivia's Former Top Drug Cop Gets 14 Years for Coke Smuggling

rene_sanabria.jpg
Rene Sanabria, the man who was once charged with policing Bolivia's drug trade, will serve 14 years in an American clink for masterminding a plot to smuggle 315 pounds of Bolivian marching powder into the country. Sanabria had pleaded guilty to the charges in June after being accused of the crime in March.

Sanabria, a former army general, ran Bolivia's anti-narcotics police unit from 2007 to 2008, and since 2009 up to his arrest, had been considered a top advisor to Evo Morales's interior minister.

While serving as an advisor, Sanabria and his associates conspired with what turned out to be undercover U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents to transport up to $250,000 worth of cocaine to America from Bolivia. Sanabria sent a test shipment of 220 pounds of yayo to Miami in November. The shipment was seized, and shortly thereafter Sanabira was arrested.

"It is hard to conceive how he could have offended the interests of the United States more than by his conduct in this case," U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro said at the sentencing hearing in Miami. "It seems very appropriate, I believe, for a lengthy sentence in order to deter similar conduct by officials in other countries."

Bolivian President Evo Morales had handpicked Sanabria to run the anti-narcotics unit after banishing the DEA from his country in 2008. Sanabria's arrest turned into major embarrassment for the controversial leader.

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2 comments
Luis Cypher Marbella
Luis Cypher Marbella

It seems very unethical to me to set traps by induction by the DEA to imprison someone, for me, the one who induces someone to commit a crime is as criminal as the one who commits it. But it is also true that I am assuming the accuracy of the statement of facts in the article.For me, it is sad event, for the consequences of this mean to this man and his loved ones. At the end of the day he is a human being and I guess hel suffers like any other. Now he will serve his sentence in a country so "civilized", that they treat their prisoners so humiliatingly as to dress them in uniforms, shackled and even condemn them to death, with a bigger chance if you're not white.I also find it sad that a man does not know how to behave as such and comply with what he has been committed, to honor his word ... And this gentleman has betrayed an entire country! because not only he has not fulfilled his commitment, but has instead used his position to do exactly the opposite of what had been entrusted. I think for everything in life you have to have certain minimum values and principles, even to be a delinquent, and there are things that are not compatible for this very reason. Or offender or police, but not both.If you have the courage to commit a crime knowing that it can go wrong, given the case, have the courage to bravely face the consequences rather than mourn like Mary Magdalene. Nor does it seem correct to beat a fallen one, and I find strange the statement of Mr. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Marcos Farfán, that at the general's arrival to Bolivia he will be facing a trial for the same offenses. Does not know this man the legal principle "non bis in idem" that prohibits a defendant to be tried for a second time for the same crime and that is even enshrined as a fundamental right in some constitutions? Or is he referring to other events involving the same type of crimes?As for the country, I wonder if this will have some positive change repecussions...

bigriggs
bigriggs

Loser, 14 years is not long enough.

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