Four defendants from overseas are being transported to Columbus today for federal prosecution after being charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a massive amount of cocaine.
Ben Glassman is the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Ohio, which includes Columbus.
The Coast Guard took the men into custody August 18 in the Pacific Ocean about 475 miles northwest of the Galapagos Islands. Three of the men are from Ecuador and one is from Mexico. While the local prosecution represents an effort to expand his office's role in fighting drugs, Glassman says it won’t hinder the office’s ability to prosecute Ohio-based cases.
Glassman says it’s likely that at least some of the drugs were headed to central Ohio. He says working with the Justice Department on cases like this helps combat the drug trade before it gets to the United States. The suspects face ten years to life in prison.