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U.S. soldier charged with smuggling 90 lbs. of cocaine from Colombia to Florida

Army Master Sgt. Daniel Gould was arrested after DEA agents found 40 kilos of coke in two backpacks on a military airplane in Colombia bound for an Air Force base in Florida.
F-35s rest under a canopy 2014 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in 2014.
F-35s rest under a canopy 2014 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in 2014.Nick Tomecek / Northwest Florida Daily News via AP file

WASHINGTON — A decorated Special Forces soldier was arrested Monday for attempting to smuggle nearly 90 pounds of cocaine from Colombia into the U.S. on a military airplane, according to two defense officials.

Army Master Sgt. Daniel Gould, assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group, was arrested after Drug Enforcement Administration agents found 40 kilograms of cocaine in two backpacks on a military airplane in Colombia. A U.S. military official said a service member found the drugs on the plane while it was on the ground in Colombia and reported the discovery. The plane was bound for Eglin Air Force Base, near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Gould was on vacation in Cali, Colombia, the week before the bust but had already traveled back to the U.S. when the drugs were loaded onto the aircraft. Officials said Gould used a proxy to move the two military-issue "punch out" bags onto the plane, but could not say whether that person was complicit or not.

A spokesperson for Army Special Operations Command would not comment on specific details. Gould did not immediately respond to a voicemail.

"We are aware of recent allegations concerning a U.S. soldier assigned under U.S. Army Special Operations Command for reportedly attempting to smuggle narcotics from Colombia into the U.S.," Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt, the spokesman, wrote in response to questions about the case. "We are cooperating fully with law enforcement officials concerning this matter. In order to protect the integrity of the investigation and the rights of the individual, there is no additional information available for release at this time."