Jhon Viafara, who played for South Coast rivals Portsmouth and Southampton in the mid-2000s pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import 5kg of cocaine into the United States.
The Former Premier League star Jhon Viafara has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for smuggling cocaine into the USA.
Viafara, who played for South Coast rivals Portsmouth and Southampton, was sent down at a Federal Court in Texas.
The 42-year-old was extradited to the US in January 2020 and in November pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import 5kg or more of cocaine into the country.
He was accused of being the main man behind the operation, which used speed boats and small planes to transport the drugs into America from Colombia via Mexico.
Viafara had been under investigation by the authorities for three years and goes by the alias ‘El Futbolista’ – a not to subtle nod to his days as a professional footballer.
Before being ushered onto a flight to Texas in handcuffs last year, he said: “I used to share a changing room with Messi, but now I’m having to share a room with somebody who has been at war in our country.”
Viafara began his football career in his native Colombia and played for Deportivo Pasto, American de Cali and Once Caldas prior to being signed by then-Portsmouth boss Alain Perrin.
He made 14 appearances at Fratton Park under the Frenchman, but found opportunities more limited under Harry Redknapp and was sent on loan to Real Sociedad.