From: Reuters
Published May 30, 2008 02:27 PM

Bahamian drug kingpin gets 35 years in U.S. prison

MIAMI (Reuters) - A Bahamian designated by the White House as an international drug kingpin was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Friday by a federal court judge.

Samuel Knowles, who was extradited to Florida in 2006, was convicted of drug smuggling in March and ordered to forfeit nearly $14 million in illegal proceeds for bringing thousands of kilos of cocaine to the United States in 1995 and 1996.

The Bush administration had put Knowles on a blacklist that bars U.S. banks from dealing with suspected international drug traffickers or their companies.

Knowles faced a possible life prison term. But the U.S. Attorney's office said District Court Judge James Cohn in Miami limited his sentence to 35 years.

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"At trial, the United States established that Knowles was the leader of a sophisticated, multi-national drug trafficking organization that utilized 'go-fast' boats to transport multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia, Jamaica and the Bahamas to the United States," the office said in a statement.

(Editing by Xavier Briand)

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