The US television network reported on Saturday that it talked to two defense officials who confirmed that Army Master Sgt. Daniel Gould, assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group, was arrested after 40 kilograms of the illicit drug were found on a plane bound for the US.
The two packages were discovered by a service member who reported the alleged attempt to smuggle the cocaine to counter-narcotics agency DEA which proceeded to arrest Gould, NBC reported.
According to the television network, an unidentified ally of Gould loaded the drugs hidden in two “punch out” bags onto the military aircraft after the military official had already left for the US after a vacation in Cali, Colombia’s third largest city.
“We are aware of recent allegations concerning a US soldier assigned under US Army Special Operations Command for reportedly attempting to smuggle narcotics from Colombia into the US,” spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bockholt wrote NBC.
According to the spokesman, the Special Operations Command is “cooperating fully with law enforcement officials concerning this matter.”
The official declined to make further comments “in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and the rights of the individual.”
Colombian drug traffickers commonly try to bribe officials in order to weaken decades-long attempts to curb the trafficking of cocaine from Colombia to consumption markets across the globe.
Multiple Colombian airport and seaport officials have been arrested this year on charges they were paid to allow drugs being loaded onto ships and private aircraft.