Nathan Baggaley Gets Life In Prison
On April 1st, former Olympic kayaker Nathan Baggaley and his brother were found guilty of plotting to smuggle $150 million of Cocaine into Australia. After a 2-week trial, a Brisbane jury convicted both Nathan and Dru Baggaley to life in prison. Both brothers pleaded not guilty to attempting to import 650 kilograms of Cocaine.
According to the prosecution, Nathan Baggaley purchased the boat used in the plot. He then oversaw the installation of navigation technology on the water vehicle. Dru Baggaley and a man named Anthony Draper used the vessel to collect and transport the Cocaine. Authorities believe Nathan was aware of his brother’s scheme. They think he had planned to meet both men at a boat ramp to store the drugs.
In June 2018, the younger Baggaley brother and Anthony Draper were spotted together. The men were caught on aerial surveillance collecting vast quantities of Cocaine. The duo retrieved the drugs from a foreign ship about 360 kilometers from the New South Wales coast. Once the men loaded the boat (2 hours later), the Royal Australian Navy patrol began its chase. Throughout the pursuit, Dru Baggaley was seen tossing bundles of the substance overboard. After the dramatic police chase involving the Navy and Air Force, both men were arrested.
During the high-speed aquatic pursuit, Dru attempted to contact his older brother. Yet, the 2 silver Olympian denies prior knowledge of his younger brother’s plot. Instead, he claims Dru gave him money to buy the boat, which he believed was for a “whale-watching business.” However, the prosecution linked Nathan Baggaley to the case. A fingerprint of the star was discovered on a tape covering the boat’s registration plate.
Like his brother, Dru also claimed he had no idea the parcels he was carrying contained Cocaine. During his testimony, he insisted he thought he was collecting tobacco. Dru also alleged that he was kidnapped by Anthony Draper, who forced him to collect the packages. Meanwhile, Draper testified that Dru recruited him to drive the boat and pick up what he thought was Marijuana. Earlier this year, Draper testified against the Baggaley brothers and pleaded guilty to his Cocaine charges. His cooperation led to a reduced sentence and last Thursday’s conviction of Nathan and Dru.
Cases like Nathan and Dru Baggaley have raised concern among the health community. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), drug trafficking is a $32 billion industry and is believed to be the most lucrative form of business for criminals across the globe. The high demand for drugs like Cocaine indicates a rise in abuse around the globe. It is important to note that repeated Cocaine use is harmful to the body and mind. Over time it can affect a person’s wellbeing and even lead to addiction.