Man sentenced to 3 years for smuggling cocaine

Posted: Friday, July 05, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Los Angeles man convicted of smuggling almost two kilograms, or roughly 4.3 pounds, of cocaine through Fairbanks International Airport in January has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Cornelius Tica, 23, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release by Judge John Sedwick Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

He was found guilty in March of one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Tica was arrested on Jan. 12 after statewide drug enforcement agents, acting on a tip from the Drug Enforcement Administration in Anchorage, searched Tica's luggage and found 1,965 grams of cocaine, Alaska State Troopers said.

Tica had arrived in Fairbanks on a plane from Seattle.

Richard Pomeroy of the U.S. Attorney's office in Anchorage said it did not appear Tica intended to sell the cocaine himself.

''I think he was planning to deliver it to somebody else, but (we have) no information as to who,'' Pomeroy said. Pomeroy said Tica had no prior criminal history.

Prosecutors recommended Tica serve his sentence at Terminal Island, a federal facility near Los Angeles.

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