Former Air Marshals Plead Guilty to Cocaine Smuggling

Two former federal air marshals have been sentenced to prison for accepting $15,000 bribes to bypass airport security and smuggle cocaine on a flight to Las Vegas.

Burlie Sholar III, 38, and Shawn Ray Nguyen, 32, admitted in plea bargains that they accepted the money to use their positions to smuggle 33 pounds of cocaine.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt on Monday sentenced Sholar to nine years in prison on charges of bribery and conspiracy. Nguyen received a shorter sentence of seven years and three months because he cooperated with investigators, prosecutors said.

They could have faced 10 years to life in prison and fines of $4 million on the smuggling charge and 15 years in prison and $250,000 fines on the bribery charge.

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