Olympic Kayaker Nathan Baggaley sentenced to 25 years in prison
Baggaley is going to prison again
Seventeen years ago, Australian kayaker Nathan Baggaley stood on the Olympic podium, having received two silver medals; now, years later, he stood in a courthouse. Along with his brother, Baggaley was sentenced to years behind bars for their role in a cocaine smuggling operation.
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) July 27, 2021
Dru Baggaley, Nathan's brother, and a man he recruited, Anthony Draper, were arrested three years ago after travelling more than 360km out to sea on a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) to meet a foreign freighter carrying packages of cocaine.
The RHIB was pursued by an Australian naval vessel on the trip home and were arrested just before reaching the shore. Nathan was incriminated after his fingerprints were found on the boat and the tape they used to cover the boat's registration.
Though the pair threw numerous packages into the water, allegedly in the hopes of disposing of the evidence, officials were able to recover 650 kilograms of white powder containing cocaine worth between $130million and $200million.
Justice Lyons found the former Olympian was "actively involved in the attempted importation of cocaine."
"I find … that Nathan Baggaley knew the importation of cocaine involved a large quantity and was actively standing by to receive that cargo and to facilitate the movement of that cargo as a principal," Justice Lyons said.
The brothers were jailed in 2009 for manufacturing and supplying large numbers of ecstasy tablets. But the disgraced Olympian didn't stop there as he was jailed again in 2015 for producing party pills and conspiring to make methamphetamine.
Justice Ann Lyons sentenced Dru Baggaley, 39, to 28 years in jail. Nathan has been sentenced to 25 years, of which he will have to serve twelve before he is eligible for parole.
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