The US Department of Justice has charged former heavyweight boxer Goran Gogic with trafficking 22 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of more than $1 billion.
The former heavyweight boxer from Montenegro was attempting to board a flight to Zurich from Miami on Sunday night when he was arrested, after being indicted in New York by a grand jury.
Gogic, 43, was charged with three counts of violating the federal Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, and one count of conspiracy.
Each charge filed against Gogic carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison - and a maximum of life behind bars.
The charges relate to cocaine seizures from three commercial cargo ships that were discovered in 2019, weighing a total of 22 tonnes.
Prosecutors detailed how the cocaine was shipped from Columbia to Europe via American ports, using cranes and nets at night to lift the illicit cargo onto ships from approaching speedboats.
The complex operation required knowledge of each ships route, location data, crew, and information showing the onboard shipping containers had the space to store the huge quantity of cocaine.
Prosecutors claimed that Gogic was responsible for the logistics in the operation, co-ordinating with Colombian drug traffickers, European dockworkers, and the ships crew members.
Gogic's lawyer, Lawrence Hashish, said: "These charges came as a surprise to him.
"He maintains his innocence, and had come to the US for a boxing convention in Puerto Rico."