Crewmen each given 21 years for drug smuggling
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times,
TAMPA -- Two crewmen aboard the Colombian trawler Layneyd each were sentenced to 21 years in prison Thursday for their roles in a drug ring accused of trying to smuggle thousands of pounds of cocaine into the United States.
U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. said he based his decision on the amount of cocaine seized.
The April 4, 2000, bust in international waters several hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador yielded 7,260 pounds of cocaine.
Like their shipmates, Fernando Tenorio and Cesar Dominguez Tenorio told Moody they thought they had joined a legitimate fishing expedition and did not know drugs had been concealed in the 81-foot fishing vessel.
But a jury decided otherwise.
Last month, the ship's captain was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The men are connected to an ongoing investigation that has seized about 80 tons of cocaine and led to the arrests of about 70 people, mostly from boats captured off the coast of South America in the Eastern Pacific.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the Times
local news desks