Decorated US Special Forces veteran pleads guilty to attempt to smuggle 40kg of cocaine into US aboard Army flight

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Decorated US Special Forces veteran pleads guilty to attempt to smuggle 40kg of cocaine into US aboard Army flight


PUBLISHED: 23:08 EST, 1 January 2019 | UPDATED: 02:43 EST, 2 January 2019

Drug was found stuffed inside punching bags aboard a military transport flight from Colombia heading to an army base in Florida 

Master Sergeant Daniel J. Gould pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic cocaine in December after authorities found he tried to smuggle nearly 90 pounds of the drug from Colombia to US

A decorated military veteran has confessed to attempting to smuggle more than a million dollars worth of cocaine in the U.S.  

Master Sergeant Daniel J. Gould was caught trying to bring in 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of cocaine from Colombia into via a military transport flight bound for Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

But Gould's plan was busted following a tip to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to ABC7.  

According to federal documents, the DEA in Bogota, Colombia's capital, found the shocking amount of cocaine stuffed inside punching bags.

A Special Forces soldier was suspicious of the the bags and intercepted them. Then Colombian officials X-rayed them and found its contents.

Court documents said that federal authorities seized the nearly 90 pounds of cocaine, which was purchased in Colombia.

He and two other corroborators were indicted for the trafficking plan.  

Gould pleaded guilty on two counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine in December.  

Gould is from South Jordan, Utah, and was a part of the Army 7th Special Forces Group.

He was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest military honor, for his valor in the War on Terror during his deployment in Afghanistan in 2008.

A sentencing date as been set for March after he allegedly confessed to the smuggling of narcotics.

He faces sentences of 10 years to life in prison on each charge for the crime.

The first count of the indictment alleges that from January 1, 2018, to August 13, 2018, Gould 'did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree with other persons to distribute a controlled substance... containing a detectable amount of cocaine, intending, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that such a substance would be unlawfully imported into the United States', according to The Ledger.  

The second count is the same and adds he wanted to 'distribute and possess with intent to distribute' the cocaine.

Gould's army group did have some locations in Colombia, but he had been on vacation and not military duty at the time of the cocaine bust. He was in the U.S. when his bags were intercepted.    

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency led the investigation into the alleged cocaine smuggling, with help from Florida and Colombian authorities.