Former heavyweight boxer Goran Gogic has been charged with shipping more than $1 billion worth of cocaine through US ports, the US Department of Justice announced on Monday.
The 43-year-old Montenegrin man was arrested on Sunday evening as he tried to board an international flight from Miami, the DOJ said in a press release.
Gogic was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Maritimes Drug Law Enforcement Act and three counts of violation of the Drug Law Enforcement Act. drugs in the Maritimes, according to court documents. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with a higher threshold of life in prison, the DOJ said.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, described the amounts of cocaine Gogic and his co-conspirators allegedly tried to move as “staggering” and noted that it was more than 20 tons.
Between May 2018 and July 2019, Gogic allegedly “conspired with others to distribute massive amounts of cocaine” from Colombia to Europe on commercial cargo ships loaded in the United States, according to DOJ and court documents.
The DOJ says US law enforcement seized three shipments of cocaine.
The largest of the three seizures took place at the Port of Philadelphia on June 19, 2019, when nearly 20 tons of cocaine were found hidden aboard the MSC Gayane.
It was “one of the largest cocaine seizures in US history” and worth more than $1 billion, the DOJ said.
Reuters reports that Gogic was arrested after appearing in federal court in Miami on Monday, citing his lawyer, who told the news agency that the charges surprised his client, adding that Gogic “maintains his innocence and must come to court.” United States”. for a boxing convention in Puerto Rico.
Gogic is expected to be arraigned in the Eastern District of New York on an unspecified date, according to the Justice Department.
CNN reached out to Gogic’s attorneys and the Montenegro consulate in New York for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
Gogic’s boxing career spanned 11 years from 2001 to 2012, according to BoxRec. He retired with a record of 21 wins, four losses and two draws.