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Smuggler pleads guilty in $20 million cocaine bust

A Spanish man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to trying to smuggle more than 1,200 pounds of cocaine, worth $20 million, to Canada.

Benjamin Celma-Sedo could face at least 10 years in prison. He is slated to be sentenced July 15.

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A federal prosecutor said at today’s hearing that the US Coast Guard this summer intercepted a 49-foot sailboat that Celma-Sedo and a co-defendant were operating about 400 miles east of Cape Cod. The authorities acted after receiving information that the boat was delivering the cocaine.

Inside the boat, authorities found 575 kilograms, or about 1,268 pounds, of cocaine.

“It was so heavy. It was weighing down the front of the vessel,” said Assistant US Attorney Neil Gallagher.

Hicham Ramzi Nahar, Celma-Sedo’s co-defendant, is slated to plead guilty next week.

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