Oct 27, 2011 6:48 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Nicaraguan man and a New York woman have pleaded guilty to charges they conspired to smuggle heroin into the U.S. on a ship that docked in Louisiana.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office said the guilty pleas Wednesday by 41-year-old Ernesto Ramon Ali Valles and 37-year-old Aura Herodia Martinez are the result of a Department of Homeland Security probe.
Valles was a crewmember on a vessel that traveled from Columbia to Reserve, La., in April. Prosecutors said Martinez traveled from New York to New Orleans to pay for drugs that Valles hid under his clothing. Agents allegedly found three kilograms of heroin in Valles' shorts when they arrested him.
Both defendants face maximum sentences of life in prison.