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Former N.M. Attorney General Indicted

May 22, 1986

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ A former state attorney general and eight other men have been indicted on charges stemming from an investigation of a ring that authorities say smuggled cocaine from Colombia to Albuquerque and Los Angeles.

Boston Witt, 54, free on $150,000 bond since his arrest earlier this month, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, two of using a telephone to facilitate a felony in the unlawful distribution of cocaine and one of interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise.

Witt, who served two terms as attorney general from 1965-68 and lost a 1974 bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, faces up to 33 years in prison and fines totaling $320,000 if convicted on all counts.

Authorities seized a total of 13 to 14 kilograms, or about 30 pounds, of high-grade cocaine in the case, U.S. Attorney Bill Lutz said Wednesday during a news conference. He said the investigation was continuing.

Also indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine were Juan Romero, 49, of Albuquerque; David Montoya, 42, of Los Angeles; Keith Bonnett, 51, of Marina Del Rey, Calif.; Michael Thornton, 43, of Marina Del Rey; Tom Canale, 50, of Canoga Park, Calif.; and three Colombian nationals, Fernando Niera Pedraza, 49; Luis Alejandro Munoz Buitrago, 23; and Luis Eduardo Munoz Vanegas, 48.

Bonnett, Canale, Buitrago and Vanegas also were charged with distribution of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute. They and Romero also were charged with interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprise.

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