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Last of four sentenced in smuggling case

Acting on a tip, police and DEA agents found $800,000 worth of cocaine hidden in broccoli shipment
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 8:35 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) -The last of four defendants charged in a drug smuggling operation uncovered in the Dothan area has been sentenced. Muta Bolden, a 36-year-old Dothan man received 130 months in federal court on Tuesday.

Watch video above to find out about how police found a plane loaded with cocaine years ago.

Previously, three south Texas men received sentences ranging from 60 months to 130 months. Those include 44-year-old Alberto Dias, 40-year-old Jesus Pina, Jr., and 27-year-old Kenneth de la Certa.

According to court records, this case began in February 2019 when the Drug Enforcement Administration and Dothan Police received information that a shipment of cocaine was being brought into Houston County.

Based on the tip, law enforcement observed Bolden meeting with Diaz and De La Cerda in Ashford. Following a conversation among the three, they all departed separately.

Diaz and De La Cerda eventually traveled to the Flying J Truck Stop in Dothan and led an 18-wheeler being driven by Pina to another location. Eventually, Bolden joined Diaz and De La Cerda at the truck and approximately 25 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of about $800,000, was retrieved from the trailer Pina was hauling. It had been camouflaged inside a broccoli shipment. Officers also seized eapons.

All four men charged in the smuggling case pleaded guilty.

Ken Curtis’ is an award winning reporter who specializes in crime and investigative stories. His broadcast career has spanned 52 years.