An attorney best known for representing Casey Anthony during her high-profile murder trial was himself found guilty this week of conspiring to distribute cocaine.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Todd Macaluso was arraigned nearly a year ago for the crime, days after he was arrested in Haiti. Investigators say the licensed pilot intended pick up a large shipment of narcotics, which he planned to transport to Honduras in a plane registered in the U.S.
A federal court jury convicted Macaluso Friday after deliberating for about an hour, according to the New York Daily News.
The 55-year-old lawyer, who was reportedly out of prison on supervised release for a wire fraud conviction when he was arrested last year, has denied he intended to traffic more than 3,000 pounds of cocaine aboard his Falcon 10 jet.
The San Deigo Union-Tribune reported that he has repeatedly asserted he thought the flight had been reserved in the pursuit of a real estate opportunity.
Prosecutors, however, argued Macaluso expected a six-figure payday for transporting the cocaine valued at roughly $13 million.
Jurors heard allegations that he owed more than $1 million in taxes and other liabilities, even after declaring bankruptcy, following his previous conviction.
He was introduced to drug smugglers during that time, prosecutors argued, and they established a plan to fly the narcotics from South America to Central America, where the drugs could be brought into the U.S. by land.
Michael Gold, Macaluso’s attorney, said in response to the verdict that his client was “disappointed” but “looks forward to being vindicated in future proceedings.”
Macaluso’s private planes have been the subject of media speculation in the past.
Shortly after Anthony was acquitted in 2011 of her 2-year-old daughter’s murder, some reports indicated she flew to an undisclosed location one of his jets. Macaluso represented Anthony for about a year between 2009 and 2010.
[Featured image: AP Photo/Nick Ut]