Russia jails South American cartel member for cocaine smuggling

A Saint Petersburg court on Thursday sentenced to 14 years in prison a member of a South American drug cartel for cocaine smuggling.

The dual Spanish-Ecuadoran national was caught with a shipment of cocaine in the city in November 2018 during an operation conducted by Russia’s drug control service, said a court statement.

Montoya Fernando Alfonso Sanchez operated on behalf of a South American cartel that was looking to start smuggling cocaine into Russia. 

“Sanchez fully admitted his guilt,” the statement said following a hearing at the Saint Petersburg City Court.

He was sentenced to 14 years in a strict-regime penal colony.