Former heavyweight boxer Goran Gogic has been accused of shipping more than $1 billion worth of cocaine through US ports, the US Department of Justice said In Monday.
The 43-year-old Montenegrin man was arrested on Sunday evening as he tried to board an international flight from Miami, the DOJ said in a press release.
Gogic was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Drugs at Sea Enforcement Act and three counts of violating the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, according to court documents. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with a higher threshold of life in prison, the DOJ said.
Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, described the amounts of cocaine that Gogic and his co-conspirators allegedly attempted to move as “staggering” and noted that it was over 20 tons.
Between May 2018 and July 2019, Gogic allegedly “conspired with others to distribute massive amounts of cocaine” from Colombia to Europe on commercial cargo ships loaded in the United States, according to DOJ and court documents.
The DOJ says US law enforcement seized three shipments of cocaine.
The largest of the three seizures took place at the Port of Philadelphia on June 19, 2019, when nearly 20 tons of cocaine were found hidden aboard the MSC Gayane.
It was “one of the largest cocaine seizures in US history” and worth more than $1 billion, the DOJ said.
Gogic’s attorney, Lawrence Hashish, told CNN he was arrested after appearing in federal court in Miami on Monday and the charges surprised his client, adding that Gogic maintains his innocence and came in the United States for a boxing convention. in Puerto Rico.
Hashish added that Gogic has a detention hearing scheduled for Nov. 7 in federal court in Miami, but the date is subject to change as Gogic is currently in quarantine at the detention center.
CNN has contacted the Montenegro consulate in New York for comment.
Gogic’s boxing career spanned 11 years, from 2001 to 2012, according to BoxRec. He retired with a record of 21 wins, four losses and two draws.