A federal court in Rosario has sentenced a man to nine years in jail for his involvement in a drug trafficking circle…despite not actually knowing who he is.
The trial, which lasted for five months, surrounded 10 alleged members of a drug trafficking network operating in Latin America and Spain.
In the man’s defence, he did actually offer up a name to the courts: the Colombian Oscar Rey Patiño. So what’s the big deal? Well, when the man was arrested in 2008 under a different name, after attempting to smuggle almost 6 kilograms of cocaine on a flight from Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport. At the time of his arrest, he presented another ID: that of Argentine Luis Avelino Esquivel. He was given 6 years in Brazilian jail – as he was caught out in a flight stopover in Sao Paolo – but the ID was later proved to be false, and mystery man admitted it was not his real identity. Luis? Oscar? You say potato, I say potato.
For now, they’re going with “Man whose true identity has not been able to be verified”. Close enough…
Unsurprisingly, the defendants’ lawyers are saying that the case isn’t the strongest. As well as the name fiasco, they maintain that the case lacks vital evidence; no confiscated drugs were found, nor weighing scales that may have given the game away. Instead, the prosecutors’ case is based on audio evidence which, though makes reference to drug trafficking, doesn’t mention any of the defendants by name.
Making light of the situation, the defendant’s lawyer stated: “We might as well call him the artist formerly known as prince, because we don’t know who he is.”