Todd Macaluso was part of the team that successfully defended accused baby-killer Casey Anthony in her high-profile murder trial in 2011, but he now faces drug smuggling charges.
Macaluso, 54, a defense attorney, has been accused of trying to smuggle drugs from Central America into the U.S., the Daily Mail reports. He was arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, in early November after being apprehended in Haiti.
It is alleged he planned to fly from Haiti to Ecuador, pick up approximately 2 tons of cocaine, transport the drug to Honduras, and then smuggle it into the U.S., reports New York Daily News.
Macaluso planned to fly a Falcon 10 aircraft, according to his alleged accomplices. “Macaluso described, in the presence of both Almonte Vasquez and Osuna Contreras, the structure of the subject aircraft, stating that it could hold 1,500 kilograms of cocaine,” said NYPD Detective Alexander Sosa of the DEA task force.
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Vasquez and Contreras, who are co-defendants with Macaluso, said they concocted the plot with him in Port-au-Prince in early November. All three suspects are considered flight risks, and are being held without bail.
At the time of his arrest, Macaluso was already on supervised release after being sentenced in 2015 to five months in prison for fraud. Those charges were outlined by the FBI in an April 2015 press release:
San Diego attorney Todd Macaluso, whose practice included representing plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, pleaded guilty today to defrauding his clients and investors by entering into funding agreements that put his clients’ personal injury cases up as collateral without their knowledge or consent. As part of his guilty plea, Macaluso admitted that he forged the signatures of his clients, and used forged notary stamps and signatures, in order to convince potential investors to advance him millions of dollars.