Kingpin Sentenced In California-New York Cocaine Smuggling Case
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The leader of a drug smuggling ring that shipped cocaine and marijuana in luxury cars from California to Long Island has been sentenced to 13 1/2 years in prison.
William Wright, 35, of West Hollywood, Calif., was sentenced Tuesday in Riverhead in Suffolk County.
Wright previously pleaded guilty to money laundering, conspiracy, drug possession and other charges.
Prosecutors said Wright bought the cocaine in California for $20,500 a kilogram and sold it in New York for five times that amount. They estimate he shipped over 200 kilograms in the months before his 2011 arrest.
Prosecutors said the drugs were hidden inside luxury vehicles that were being transported in tractor-trailers. The car carrier companies were not aware of the criminal activity.
Wright stood handcuffed before Judge Mark Cohen in court Tuesday and apologized, but prosecutor Jack Kubetz wasn’t convinced of his remorse.
“He spends his drug money on horses and fancy cars and at the end of the day, he’s just a drug dealer making money off of addicts,” Kubetz said.
Wright’s attorney, Jeffrey Licthman, disagreed saying, “The massiveness of what not only he had done but what he was facing really hit him this time.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said four others linked to the case have either pleaded guilty or will plead guilty shortly.
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