Passenger in Avianca Crash Indicted on Drug Charge
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _ A passenger on a Colombian airliner that crashed in January was indicted on a drug charge Thursday for carrying cocaine-filled condoms in his intestines, officials said.
Antonio Zuluaga, 46, of Colombia was charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Avianca Flight 52 crashed Jan. 25 on Cove Neck on Long Island while en route from Bogota, Colombia, to New York, killing 73 people.
While hospitalized, Zuluaga passed 29 condoms filled with 7 1/2 ounces of cocaine, said Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon.
Zuluaga was being held without bail Thursday at the Nassau County Jail.
Another passenger, Jose Figueroa, 31, passed 104 packets of cocaine weighing more than 3 1/2 pounds, and has been charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. His case has not yet been presented to a grand jury.
Nassau County police have said the two men were probably couriers for drug dealers in Medellin, Colombia, where the plane stopped en route to New York.