Accomplice of Russian drug dealer pilot gets 30 years in U.S. jail

Nigerian Chigbo Peter Umeh, the accomplice of a Russian pilot convicted of drug dealing, has been sentenced to 30 years in jail by a New York court.

Umeh and Russian Konstantin Yaroshenko were detained in Liberia in May 2010 and extradited to the United States on charges of smuggling a large batch of cocaine, part of which was destined to the U.S.

Umeh, who has already served an eight-year sentence in a U.S. jail, admitted to drug trafficking but denied any intention of smuggling cocaine into the country.

In his address to the court, he asked Judge Jed Raykoff to take it into consideration that he is a father of 14 children, including four without mothers.

The New York Federal Court in April convicted Yaroshenko of conspiring to smuggle drugs into America. Sentencing in his case has been postponed until September 7. Yaroshenko, who denied the charges, faces from 10 years to life in prison.

Yaroshenko’s arrest angered the Russian authorities, who accused U.S. officials of putting “physical and psychological pressure” on the Russian.

Yaroshenko’s lawyer has said the 43-year-old pilot could be transferred to Russia to serve out his sentence.

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