Prosecutors charge 12 in cocaine trafficking ring

Prosecutors charge 12 in cocaine trafficking ring

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged 12 people they say were part of a national cocaine trafficking organization.

The U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta on Friday says the indictment came after an 18-month FBI investigation of a drug trafficking organization with ties to Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Texas and Louisiana.

The indictment was handed down in July and a judge ordered it unsealed Thursday.

Prosecutors say the organization used vehicles outfitted with hydraulic concealed compartments to smuggle cocaine and cash throughout the U.S.

Investigators have seized more than 70 kilograms of cocaine and about $1 million in drug proceeds. 9 of the 12 defendants had been arrested by Friday.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment, as well as fines of over $$10 million.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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