Jhon Viafara former Southampton and Portsmouth player has been arrested by the police and jailed for 11 years after he was found guilty of trafficking cocaine from his country Colombia into the United States.
On Wednesday, April 1 the federal court in Texas sentenced him to 11-years in prison.
The 42-year-old former footballer from Robles, Colombia, last November pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import five kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States and was extradited north of his homeland in January.
Jhon Viafara had been accused of importing two tonnes of cocaine into the States, which equates to a staggering £21million into the United States.
The former footballer who had been under investigation for three years was said to have conspired with the members of the Gulf Cartel to send cocaine shipments from Colombia on speedboats to Mexico, which ultimately arrived in the States.
‘The defendant, in this case, had it all, worldwide fame, wealth, and stature – despite all of this, he chose to use his talents to advance the evil of the drug trade,’ said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ganjei.
‘Traffickers should take note, no matter who you are; no matter where in the world you live; the United States will prosecute you if you join in a conspiracy to send drugs to our country.’
The former Colombian international who retired from football in 2015, played for 10 clubs during his career, including Premier League clubs Portsmouth and Southampton. In 2004, he helped the Colombian team Once Caldas win the Libertadores Cup – South America’s top club competition.
During his extradition to the US, the footballer, whose alias is ‘El Futbolista’, told reporters: ‘I used to share a changing room with Messi, but now I’m having to share a room with somebody who has been at war in our country.’