Monday, the Department of Justice charged a former professional heavyweight boxer with trafficking more than 20 tons of cocaine worth more than $1 billion through U.S. ports. The majority of the cocaine was from what prosecutors in 2019 called “one of the largest drug seizures in the history of the United States.”
Goran Gogic, 43, was detained on Sunday after being charged by a grand jury in New York, according to a news release from the Justice Department. Gogic, a citizen of Montenegro, was apprehended at Miami International Airport while attempting to board a flight.
Three counts of breaching the federal Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act and one count of conspiracy were brought against Gogic. The defendant faces a required minimum of 10 years and potentially to life in prison.
The allegations come from three arrests of cocaine in 2019, including the seizure of 19.8 tons from a cargo ship when it was parked at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia. Ivan Durasevic, the ship’s second mate, and Fonofaavae Tiasaga were detained at the time of the incident. The vessel was in route to the Netherlands.
During a news conference on June 21, 2019, heavily armed cops stand guard as law enforcement authorities present evidence from a cocaine seizure aboard the MSC Gayane in the port of Philadelphia. Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto from Getty
Prosecutors say that Gogic and others utilized “careful planning” to transfer cocaine from Colombia to Europe via U.S. ports and cargo ships.
“Members of the conspiracy loaded the commercial cargo ships at night along the coast and ports, collaborating with crewmembers who hoisted quantities of cocaine from speedboats that approached the ships at several places throughout their voyage,” according to prosecutors.
Allegedly, the defendants loaded the narcotics using the ship’s nets and cranes. The crew would conceal the cocaine within shipping containers, according to the prosecution.
According to prosecutors, the intricate operation required access to each ship’s crew, route, real-time positioning, and geolocation data.
Gogic is accused of arranging the operation with crewmembers, Colombian traffickers, and European dockworkers.
Following the 2019 huge arrest in Philadelphia, United States Attorney William McSwain tweeted: “This is one of the greatest drug seizures in the history of the United States. This quantity of cocaine is sufficient to kill millions – MILLIONS – of people.”
According to internet boxing statistics, the 6′ 5″, 250-pound Gogic boxed from 2001 through 2012, winning 21 and losing four matches.
In a statement, United States Attorney Breon Peace described the arrest and charge of Gogic as a “body blow to the organization and persons responsible for delivering huge quantities of cocaine.”