Top Surinamese Official Sentenced To 12 Years on Drug Charges
MIAMI (AP) _ The second-in-command of Suriname’s military government has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for trying to charge U.S.-bound cocaine smugglers $1 million a load to dock safely in his South American nation.
Capt. Etienne Boerenveen, 28, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Sidney Aronovitz for his Sept. 17 conviction on charges of conspiracy to import cocaine and travel in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Boerenveen was a member of Suriname’s 18-member ruling military council, and U.S. prosecutors called him the nation’s No. 2 leader. Surinamese government officials had maintained Boerenveen was entrapped.
Two other Surinamese were given lesser sentences Monday. Cilvion Heymans, 65, whom prosecutors called the broker in the deal, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
His son, Ricardo Heymans, 34, who had been Miami sales manager of the government-owned Suriname Airlines, was sentenced to a year and a day. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Norris called the younger Heymans’ role in the deal ″minimal.″
The three were arrested by undercover U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents March 24 aboard a yacht in Biscayne Bay. Agents said the men tried to arrange to make Suriname a stopover for Colombian cocaine dealers en route to the United States.
Suriname is a tiny country north of Brazil that gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975.