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Nation IN BRIEF : FLORIDA : Noriega Witness Tells of Drug Plot

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A confessed drug smuggler testified in federal court in Miami that he helped a co-defendant in Manuel A. Noriega’s drug case elude Colombian drug lords and Panamanian military officials after a cocaine deal went bad. The witness, Hector Lopez, said William Saldarriaga told him 700 pounds of cocaine had been lost in a foiled smuggling plot. Prosecutors contend Noriega was involved in that plot--to smuggle cocaine to the United States aboard a yacht. On cross-examination Lopez admitted he had avoided heavy prison terms and fines by testifying.


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