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Police arrest former model wanted for cocaine trafficking

Posted on June 01, 2010 3:00 AM EST

As a follow up to an earlier blog, Argentine airport security officers finally nabbed the Colombian model wanted for drug trafficking. Angela Sancelemente was discovered living in a Buenos Aires hostel living among foreign university students. Sanclemente had changed her hair color and was going by the name of Annie when she was picked up by law enforcement. Sanclemente was afforded an opportunity to speak with her criminal defense lawyer who will appear with his client in an Argentine federal court.

In March 2009, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Sanclemente for her alleged involvement in an international cocaine trafficking ring. Law enforcement believes Sanclemente, along with her boyfriend are the ringleaders of the smuggling operation. The organization is believed to use female models to move the drugs through the Buenas Aires airport to several foreign destinations. The investigation has led to the arrests of several members of the drug trafficking ring, including Sanclemente's boyfriend, a male model.

As soon as Sanclemente became aware that she was a fugitive, she posted several messages on face book denying her involvement in the drug trafficking ring. She was quoted as saying that, "I'm very sad and hurt by the bad information. I don't know how the press can destroy can destroy and innocent person, I don't want to go to jail, I don't deserve it, I am innocent." Even Sanclemente's mother professed her daughter's innocence. She even agreed to be interviewed, but would charge the media for any appearance.

Sanclemente's name first appeared when she won a Colombian beauty pageant in 2000 at the age of 20. Days after winning the prize, she was stripped of the title for being married in contravention of the rules of the contest. She briefly attended college, but dropped out after three semesters, and sought a career in modeling. The allegations do not suggest when she became involved in the purported drug trade.

Court documents have not been made available setting forth the allegations surrounding her involvement in the cocaine trafficking ring. After Sanclemente appears in federal court, more documents reflecting the details of the case should be released to the public. It is not clear at this point of the prosecution whether or not other sovereign nations will seek extradition for her to face similar drug trafficking charges.

Former Model Arrested in Argentina on Drug Charges, CNN.com, May 26, 2010.
Categories: Drug Offenses