Olympian Nathan Baggaley, Brother Found Guilty of Smuggling $152M of Cocaine

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2021

Nathan Baggaley of Australia reacts after he took the second place in the Men's K1 500 meter final to take the silver medal, during the kayak flatwater event at the 2004 Olympic Games in Schinias near Athens, Greece, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
VINCENT THIAN/Associated Press

Australian sprint canoeist Nathan Baggaley, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, and his brother, Dru Baggaley, were found guilty Thursday in a plot to smuggle 650 kilograms of cocaine into the country.

9 News Australia reported Dru Baggaley, 39, was on a boat intercepted by Australian authorities in July 2018 after it was observed collecting packages thrown into the water by a large ship. A search of the vessel found the cocaine, which was valued at $200 million Australian (US$152 million). 

Nathan, 45, was not aboard at the time of the incident, but Australian prosecutors said in court he purchased the boat and "helped plan the crime," per 9 News Australia.

Following a two-week trial, a Brisbane Supreme Court jury found the brothers guilty of attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.

They will remain in custody while they awaiting sentencing in the case.

In December 2015, the brothers were sentenced to 27 months in prison for their role in a drug manufacturing syndicate. That came after May 2009 sentences of nine years for Nathan and 12 years for Dru after being found guilty of "manufacturing and supplying" over 1,500 ecstasy tablets.

Nathan was suspended from canoeing events in September 2005 after testing positive for two banned steroids. He never returned to competition.

He won silver medals in the K-1 500 meters and the K-2 500 meters at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. He also captured three gold medals at the world championships (2002, 2003 and 2005) in the K-1 event.