CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan authorities say three National Guard soldiers are among 10 people convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison for roles in smuggling 1.4 metric tons of cocaine to Paris in an Air France passenger jet.
The chief prosecutor's office said in a statement Tuesday that the wife of one of those convicted was sentenced to 10 years for money laundering. Still pending are charges against 17 more people arrested in the case, including a National Guard lieutenant colonel.
The National Guard handles drug-screening operations at Maiquetia international airport, where the cocaine was loaded onto the plane in 31 suitcases in 2013. Authorities say a France-based ring including Italian and British citizens was responsible.
Venezuela is a major transit country for Europe-bound Colombian cocaine.