Four men arrested in a submarine 90 miles off the coast of Costa Rica have been indicted on drug smuggling charges.
On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida announced the unsealing of a two-count indictment against Adelmo Torres-Aguirre, 32, and Abimelec Murillo-Mosquera, 41, of Colombia; Robis Osuel Solis-Caceres, 42, of Guatemala; and Rajakumar Rajadurai, 52, of Sri Lanka.
They are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 or more kilograms of cocaine, and aiding and abetting in the intent to distribute 5 or more kilograms of cocaine.
If convicted, they could get a maximum punishment of life in prison and a fine of $4-million.
The men were arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard in the eastern Pacific Ocean, about 90 nautical miles southwest of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica. They were traveling in a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel. Officers found almost 3 tons of cocaine and a loaded AK-47 rifle, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The case was investigated by the Operation Panama Express task force, a six-year-long Tampa-based investigation that targets cocaine traffickers in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. Many of the cases, including one in October convicting Colombian businessman and drug kingpin Joaquin Mario Valencia-Trujillo, have been tried in Tampa.