Ex Saints And Pompey Player Jailed For Drug Smuggling
Sunday, 4th Apr 2021 09:45
Jhon Viafara is one of a small band of players who have crossed the divide in one direction or the other and played for both Southampton & Portsmouth, but he is perhaps the only one who will have served a long Jail sentence.
Saints signed Jhon Viafara in August 2006 as they rebuilt their team after relegation a year earlier, he came from Portsmouth, although his career at Fratton Park was limited to 10 Premier League starts and another 4 off the bench.
Indeed he had spent the last six months of his career there on loan at Real Sociedad.
For two years Viafara was a vital cog in the Saints team, his first season saw the play off's reached and heartbreak in a penalty shootout at Derby County after he had scored two goals in the game.
In 2008 he departed back to his native Columbia and played for sides over there finally retiring in 2015 aged 36.
But now he is making headlines for the wrong reasons and he has been sentenced to an 11-year prison sentence after being found guilty of trafficking two tonnes of cocaine worth a staggering £21m into the United States.
Viafara was arrested in March 2019 after crashing a car while drink-driving and speeding in Cali, south Colombia, before being held as part of an operation involving the US Drug Enforcement Agency and local Colombian authorities.
He was extradited to the USA in January and in his trial prosecutors said Viafara conspired with the murderous Clan del Golfo cartel to send cocaine shipments from Colombia to Mexico via speedboat, with the ultimate destination for the drugs being the United States.
It was said that Viafara’s role was was to co-ordinate the movement of cocaine across the route via airplanes, speedboats and semi-submersibles. Furthermore, they stated Viafara oversaw payment to gang members and watchmen along the route and met with key Sinaloa cartel bosses.
It seemed to imply that Viafara was far from playing a bit part but was a major cog in the operation and that was reflected in his 11 year sentence dished out by a Texan court.
Photo: Action Images
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