Colorado Man Indicted For Flying More Than 70 Pounds Of Cocaine To Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE, LA - Acting United States Attorney Walt Green announced today the indictment of a Colorado man charged with attempting to transport more than seventy (70) pounds of cocaine through Baton Rouge on a private aircraft.
A federal grand jury has returned a two-count indictment charging VINCENT SALZANO, also known as Vincenzo Salzano, age 55, of Aurora, Colorado, with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and possession with the intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). If convicted of both counts, SALZANO faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and up to $20,000,000 in fines. SALZANO also faces the forfeiture of the airplane involved in the criminal activity and any proceeds derived from such activity.
The indictment arises from SALZANO’s arrest this past fall at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. The indictment alleges that on October 7, 2013, SALZANO met with other individuals and boarded a private plane that SALZANO controlled and that had been flown to Atlanta at SALZANO’s direction. The following day, SALZANO allegedly flew from Atlanta to the McAllen, Texas area, where he deplaned, left the airport, and obtained approximately 30 packaged bundles of cocaine. SALZANO and another individual then allegedly re-boarded the plane, carrying the cocaine and intending to travel back to Atlanta. According to the indictment, SALZANO’s plane stopped in Baton Rouge for fuel, at which point SALZANO was contacted by law enforcement agents and arrested.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Louisiana State Police, with assistance from the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other law enforcement agencies. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alan A. Stevens and James P. Thompson.
NOTE: An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.