4 Plead Guilty in Coast Guard Drug Seizure Near Galapagos

Judges gavel and the scales of justice. (Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Federal prosecutors say four men arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard near the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean while transporting a large shipment of cocaine in a speed boat have pleaded guilty in Ohio's capital city to drug charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbus says the men — a Mexican citizen and three Ecuadorian nationals — entered pleas Thursday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine on a vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Their sentences could range from 10 years to life in prison.

They were arrested in international waters off the Ecuadorian cost in August 2017 with nearly 1,600 pounds (720 kilograms) of cocaine. They were brought to Columbus the following month to be prosecuted.

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