Colombian nationals plead guilty after being caught with nearly 1,500 kilos of cocaine in international waters


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Three Colombian nationals pleaded guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute nearly 1,500 kilograms of cocaine when they were interdicted in an unregistered vessel on the Pacific Ocean last year.

According to court documents, Eliovar Pineda, 45, Jenuar Angulo, 40, and Marcial Cuero, 68, were traveling on Augist 6 of last year when they were intercepted with 1,479 kilograms of cocaine.

The trio was traveling in international waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Officials say the street value of the cocaine they had is between $45-55 million.

Pineda, Angulo, and Cuero were caught aboard a “Go Fast” vessel, which had no indicia or markings of nationality.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton was dispatched to intercept the go-fast-vessel that had been located approximately 90 nautical miles southwest of Coiba Island, Panama.

The USCGC Hamilton subsequently launched a helicopter, which was able to come in contact with the go-fast-vessel.

The trio’s go-fast-vessel then became disabled and a subsequent boarding resulted in the detainment of the three smugglers while still in international waters. Members of the Coast Guard boarding team subsequently seized the approximately 1,479 kilograms of cocaine.

Pineda, Angulo, and Cuero are scheduled to be sentenced on July 12, 2021. Pineda faces up to twenty years in prison while Angulo and Cuero face up to life in prison.

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