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Authorities Break Up International Drug Trafficking Ring Involving Spanish Navy Ship

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Two alleged Colombian drug traffickers are accused of smuggling narcotics to New York aboard a famed Spanish Navy ship.

As WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reported, the wide-ranging investigating centered on a four-masted schooner called the Juan Sebatian de Elcano.

Investigators said when it sailed in the Port of New York just ahead of Fleet Week in 2014, the training vessel for the Royal Spanish Navy had become a worldwide narcotics delivery service with more than one group of Colombian dug traffickers paying sailors to hide and deliver large shipments of cocaine and heroin.

Juan Sebastian de Elcano
Authorities say the Juan Sebastian de Elcano was involved in an international drug trafficking ring (credit: Handout)

The symbolic military vessel had become the perfect cover for the illicit drug trade, Cornell reported.

In New York, two sailors were caught on video delivering drugs in the Bronx, Cornell reported.

When the ship returned to Spain, investigators found 280 pounds of cocaine still stashed away, authorities said.

On Thursday, authorities in Columbia arrested Jorse Luis Hoayeck and Jorge Alberto Siado-Alvarez pursuant to an extradition request and are expected to be brought back to New York City to face charges.

Hoayeck and Siado-Alvarez are charged with conspiracy, mulitple counts of criminal sale of a control substance and mulitple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Seven individuals associated with the New York City-based trafficking group were previously arrested and indicted following the delivery involving the Juan Sebastian de Elcano.

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