Magazine article Newsweek

Coke and Mrs. Colonel: Amid a War on Drug Trafficking, an American Officer's Wife Is Accused of Smuggling Narcotics from Bogota

Magazine article Newsweek

Coke and Mrs. Colonel: Amid a War on Drug Trafficking, an American Officer's Wife Is Accused of Smuggling Narcotics from Bogota

Article excerpt

The U.S. Army insists Col. James Hiett had no idea he might have been sleeping with the enemy. Since last summer, Hiett had been in command of the 200 American military personnel waging a difficult campaign against drug trafficking in Colombia. But according to a criminal complaint filed in a federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., last week, Hiett's wife, Laurie Anne, 36, was using the special mail service at the American Embassy in Bogota to smuggle cocaine into the United States. By the time the story broke, Colonel Hiett was on the way out of his job and his wife was out on bail.

The smuggling was discovered last May, when a Customs Service official in Miami routinely inspected a package Mrs. Hiett had sent to someone in New York City. Opening the brown-paper parcel, which had Mrs. Hiett's return address neatly written on the outside, the inspector found it contained about 2.7 pounds of cocaine, court documents said. Subsequently, investigators in New York tracked down five packages allegedly sent by Laurie Hiett, starting last April, and a sixth parcel mailed at her request by another American military wife, who was regarded as a witness, not a suspect. In all, authorities said, the packages contained 15.8 pounds of pure cocaine, with a street value of as much as $230,000.

Laurie Hiett surrendered to federal authorities in Brooklyn and was arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. After appearing in court, she was released on a $150,000 bond; she still had not been indicted. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.