Two former Special Forces soldiers who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking late last year will spend nine years each in federal prison, according to a Tuesday release from the Justice Department.
Former Master Sgt. Daniel Gould, 36, and former Sgt. 1st Class Henry Royer, 35, faced two counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine. A third co-conspirator, Colombian national Gustavo Pareja, is awaiting extradition to Florida for trial, the release said.
“In August 2018, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration received information that Gould had attempted to import 40 kilograms of cocaine onto a military transport flight in Colombia with a final destination in the Northern District of Florida,” the release said. “Suspicion was aroused at the United States Embassy in Colombia when packages were x-rayed, revealing cocaine within gutted out punching bags.”
Gould had previously smuggled 10 kilos of cocaine from Cali to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he was assigned to 7th Special Forces Group, using the same plan.
“The defendant and co-defendant Royer then decided to reinvest the money from the first load of cocaine into a second load ― of greater quantity,” according to court documents.
Royer, most recently an instructor with the West Virginia National Guard, was previously assigned to 19th Special Forces Group.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.