Wanted: Noriega

The U.S. indicts Panama's strongman for pushing drugs

The ritual was familiar, but the specifics were unprecedented. When U.S. Attorneys in Miami and Tampa announced two major criminal indictments last Friday, it was not just another drug bust. The accused was General Manuel Antonio Noriega, commander in chief of the Panama Defense Forces and de facto ruler of an important U.S. ally. He was charged with drug trafficking, laundering millions of dollars in illicit profits and providing safe haven for some of the world's most notorious narcotics barons.

In Tampa, U.S. Attorney Robert Merkle accused Noriega of conspiring to import and distribute more than 1 million lbs. of marijuana...

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