Colombian Lingerie Model Jailed for Running Global Coke Ring
A former beauty queen recruited fellow models in Argentina to form the world's most glamorous cocaine smuggling outfit.
Not content with the glamorous lifestyle of an international sex symbol, 31-year-old Angie Sanclemente Valencia—a famous Colombian model and beauty queen—was a major player in a cocaine smuggling ring that used models as mules as they flew around the world unsuspected, competing in beauty pageants. Valencia's now been sentenced to nearly seven years' jail in Argentina, after being convicted Wednesday of helping her boyfriend, Nicolas Gualco, to recruit numerous unusually-attractive smugglers. She once described her recruits as "unsuspicious, beautiful angels." Implicated in trying to move coke via Mexico in late 2009, when an accomplice was caught boarding a plane with 55kg of powder in her suitcases, Valencia went on the run for five months, but was finally arrested in Buenos Aires in May 2010. The lingerie model said she went into hiding because she feared being raped in prison. Her boyfriend received the same sentence as her—six years and eight months—and a number of other defendants were also jailed. Valencia's attorney said he would appeal her conviction. The beauty queen-turned-model and actress claimed that she traveled to Argentina only to marry Gualco, without knowing that any crime would be involved. She protested that all she did was make a few calls for her boyfriend, lamenting, "God knows I did it for love."