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Father, Son Indicted Over Kingpin

April 3, 2002

MIAMI (AP) _ Federal prosecutors have indicted the father and son of a reputed cocaine kingpin after the alleged kingpin rejected a plea bargain deal requiring maximum prison terms.

Defense attorneys angrily accused prosecutors Wednesday of trying to blackmail Sal Magluta by threatening his family.

``This is dirty pool,″ said Ed Shohat, attorney for Magluta’s father, Manuel. ``We hope they don’t indict the dog and the parrot tomorrow.″

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan declined comment Wednesday after bond was set at $600,000 each for Manuel Magluta, 80, and his grandson Christian Magluta, a 28-year-old law school student.

Both are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Sal Magluta and Willie Falcon allegedly made $2 billion running drugs through Miami when it was the world capital of cocaine smuggling in the 1980s. The two were acquitted of drug charges in 1996 with the help of a bribed jury foreman, and now face separate trials on follow-up charges.

Sal Magluta is charged in the slayings of three witnesses who turned against the drug organization. Both men, who are in jail, are also charged with obstruction and money laundering.

In a letter to defense attorneys Jan. 17, Sullivan offered Sal Magluta a life sentence in exchange for prosecutors not indicting his father and son. Falcon was offered the 20-year maximum in exchange for a guilty plea.

Magluta would have been required to give up two houses, including the home where his grandfather, son, daughter-in-law and grandchild live.

``This offer is a ‘package’ deal,″ Sullivan wrote. ``For one defendant to accept, both have to accept.″

Defense attorneys called the deal unreasonable.

Alan Ross, attorney for Christian Magluta, accused prosecutors of resorting to extortion and threats to gain a conviction against Sal Magluta, a target of federal investigators for 15 years.

Co-counsel Ben Kuehne said: ``The Bible says the sins of the father shall not be visited on the son. We have to bring that over to the U.S. attorney’s office.″

The father and son are accused of taking instructions from Sal Magluta and relaying information to him about the drug organization’s hidden money.

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