Colo. father, son sentenced for bring 72 pounds of cocaine on plane to Louisiana airport


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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A father and son from Colorado who flew into a Louisiana airport last year with nearly 72 pounds of cocaine on the elder man's private plane have been sentenced.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson sentenced Vincent Salzanoto, 57, of Aurora, Colorado, on Wednesday to five years in prison and also ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine. His 33-year-old son, Armando, of Littleton, Colorado, will spend four years in prison and pay a $30,000 fine.

The Advocate reports ( ) the elder Salzanoto pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and admitted he planned to distribute the drugs valued by authorities at $1 million. His son pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

"Vincent Salzano made a very bad choice, and will suffer the consequences over the next 5 years," his attorneys, Jim Boren and Marci Blaize, said Wednesday in a written statement.

"It was a fair sentence based on Armando's otherwise sterling record and incredible family support," John DiGiulio, the younger Salzano's attorney, added.

Vincent Salzano told federal agents he had picked up the cocaine in McAllen, Texas, along the United States-Mexico border, reboarded the plane and was in the process of transporting the drugs to Atlanta at the time of his stop in Baton Rouge, court documents show.

The twin-engine Beechcraft 58P's suspicious flight plan alerted agents and prompted the search of the plane at Baton Rouge Metro Airport, the documents indicate. The plane had flown from Denver to Atlanta on Oct. 7, 2013, then the next day from Atlanta to McAllen, stopping for fuel in New Orleans. After a brief stay in McAllen, the plane was headed back to Atlanta when it stopped in Baton Rouge.

Information from: The Advocate,

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