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That’s a Lot of Cocaine

Captain pleads guilty to smuggling $14.5 million worth on the Lazzara Secret Spot.

December 20, 2013
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106-foot Lazzara motoryacht Secret Spot

The 106-foot Lazzara motoryacht Secret Spot was used to smuggle cocaine from the Bahamas to the United States.

When news broke in October about the captain aboard the 106-foot Lazzara Secret Spot being arrested on drug-smuggling charges, reports estimated the street value of the cocaine at $5 million to $6 million.

That was an understatement, to say the least. Capt. Jonathan Costenbader, who is 34, recently pleaded guilty to smuggling $14.5 million worth — about 1,100 pounds in total.

The smuggling, prosecutors say, took place during at least five trips from Florida to the Bahamas and back. Costenbader was paid at least $1.2 million for just a couple of his most recent trips, and most of the money is already gone thanks to a gambling habit. He told authorities that he might have about $200,000 left at most.

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Not that the captain will need much cash in the future; he’s facing life in prison when sentencing occurs at his next court appearance.

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