Army Special Forces Soldier Charged With Smuggling Kilos Of Cocaine On Military Aircraft

Bullet Points
A joint special operations force of Special Tactics operators from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron and U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers from the 7th Special Forces Group run to board a CV-22 Osprey from the 8th Special Operations Squadron while performing a joint capabilities demonstration for Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018.
U.S. Air Force/ Master Sgt. Jason Robertson

An Army Special Forces soldier was arrested Monday for smuggling 40 kilos of cocaine into the United States hidden in two backpacks aboard a military aircraft, NBC News reported on Friday.


  • Master Sgt. Daniel Gould was taken into custody by Drug Enforcement Administration agents after two military-issue "punch out" bags somehow connected to him were discovered filled with 40 kilos (90 lbs) of cocaine on a U.S. military aircraft bound for Eglin Air Force Base.
  • NBC News reports that cocaine was identified after another service member "found the drugs on the plane while it was on the ground in Colombia and reported the discovery."
  • Gould, assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin, was already in the United States when the drugs were discovered, according to NBC News, which reported that the Green Beret "used a proxy" to get the bags onto the aircraft.
  • "We are aware of recent allegations concerning a U.S. soldier assigned under U.S. Army Special Operations Command for reportedly attempting to smuggle narcotics from Colombia into the U.S.," Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt told NBC News. "We are cooperating fully with law enforcement officials concerning this matter."

NBC's reporting suggests that Gould had traveled to Colombia "on vacation," which is likely garbage. But just for reference, here's what 35 kilos of cocaine seized by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2018 look like:

The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and local agencies recovered approximately 35 kilos of cocaine from the Gulf of Mexico, south of Pensacola, Florida, July 8, 2018. Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders received a notification at from a good Samaritan of a bale of cocaine floating in the water south of PensacolaU.S. Coast Guard photo

Why Gould thought he could get away with sneaking the stuff into the country on a U.S. military plane without even being there is a puzzle worthy of the Pentagon's top minds.

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