Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Decorated Green Beret Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Nearly 90 Pounds Of Cocaine Into The US On A Military Aircraft
A highly decorated Army Special Forces soldier pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking conspiracy, admitting he attempted to smuggle nearly 90 pounds of cocaine from Colombia to Florida aboard a military aircraft in August 2018.
Master Sgt. Daniel Gould first smuggled 10 kilograms of the narcotic in early 2018, according to the U.S. Attorney's statement. A co-defendant in the trial traveled to Colombia with the payment for the first load, which Gould then placed in a gutted-out punching bag.
According to a report by the Panama City News Herald, Gould had a driver transport the cocaine to Bogota, where it was placed on a military aircraft and transported to the US. The cocaine was then distributed in northwest Florida, according to the U.S. Attorney's statement. Gould was assigned to 7th Special Forces Group, an Army command garrisoned at Eglin Air Force Base in the same region.
Master Sgt. Daniel Gould (U.S. Army photo)
The conspirators reinvested the money from the first load, sending about $65,000 back to Colombia on another military aircraft. Then, in early August, Gould returned to Colombia to retrieve the second load of cocaine.
Using the same method, Gould hid 40 kilograms — nearly 90 pounds with a street value over $1 million, according to US attorneys — in the punching bags. The cocaine was discovered at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota on August 13, 2018, when the bags went through an X-ray. Gould had already departed Colombia when the drugs were discovered, and was waiting in Florida to retrieve them.
Gould recently separated from the Army, according to the Herald. The Green Beret received the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest military award for valor, for combat action in Afghanistan in 2008.
One of Gould's co-defendants, 35-year-old Henry Royer, pleaded not guilty to the same charges of drug trafficking, according to the Herald. A third man, Colombian national Gustavo Pareja, has also been indicted.
Gould will be sentenced on March 12; he faces 10 years to life on each count of conspiracy.
Read more from Business Insider:
- A Special Forces soldier is being investigated for smuggling millions of dollars of drugs — and it may be part of a much bigger scheme
- A Special Forces soldier accused of a multimillion-dollar drug-smuggling attempt is heading to trial, and he faces life in prison
- 2 Navy SEALs may face court-martial in last year's strangling death of an Army Green Beret
- Watch the Fox News interview that launched the murder investigation of an Army hero
- Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."