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4 indicted for drug trafficking in Caribbean

Associated Press Updated: January 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Four men have been indicted on drug trafficking charges after the Coast Guard seized $37 million worth of cocaine during an operation in the Caribbean.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment on Wednesday charging 42-year-old Linberto Gallardo-Gonzalez, 35-year-old Uriel Julio Tapia, 37-year-old Miguel Vasquez-Barrios and 40-year-old Miguel Angel Sori-Ortiz.

They were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, among other charges. Each faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years if convicted.

They were taken to Tampa for prosecution.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it offloaded 2,500 pounds of cocaine valued at $37 million on Jan. 22 south of the Dominican Republic. The men were seen tossing packages of drugs overboard during a pursuit launched from a British military ship.

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