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Press Release

Italian National Extradited for Cocaine Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant connected to seizure of over 1,500 kilos of cocaine bound for Europe aboard fishing vessels

BOSTON – An Italian national was extradited and made an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday in connection with various drug charges related to trafficking cocaine on board maritime vessels.

Gabriele Biondo, a/k/a El Italiano, was arraigned on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Biondo is an Italian national who was extradited to the United States from Spain.

The conspiracy and distribution charges each provide for a sentence of no greater than life in prison, a life term of supervised release and a $10 million fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; and John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts, made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Colombian National Police, the Spanish Guardia Civil, and the Portuguese Air Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Ricci, Chief of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.   

Updated February 22, 2019

Drug Trafficking