A former heavyweight boxer has been charged for allegedly trafficking more than $1 billion worth of cocaine into the US.
Goran Gogic, 43, was arrested on Sunday night while attempting to board a flight from Miami International Airport to Zurich, Switzerland, after being indicted by a grand jury in New York.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice charged Gogic with three counts of violating the federal Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, and one count of conspiracy. Each count carries a mandatory minimum 10-year prison term and possible life sentence.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn called Gogic’s arrest and indictment “a resounding victory for law enforcement.”
The charges stem from Gogic’s role in managing three cargo shipments discovered in US ports in 2019 that totalled more than 22 tons of cocaine—one of the largest seizures in U.S. history.
Prosecutors also alleged that Gogic was part of a cocaine smuggling operation that moved drugs from Colombia through American ports in order to get them to Europe. The gang reportedly used cranes and nets at night to hoist drugs onto cargo ships from approaching speedboats.
Lawrence Hashish, the lawyer for Gogic, said: “These charges came as a surprise to him. He maintains his innocence, and had come to the U.S. for a boxing convention in Puerto Rico.”