Serbia: Six Members of Darko Saric’s Group Enter Guilty Pleas

Six members of the organized crime group led by fugitive Montenegrin drug lord Darko Saric accepted plea bargains on Wednesday in return for reduced sentences, announced the Serbia’s Special Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime. The six defendants pleaded guilty to charges of organized crime and drug trafficking.  The sentences they agreed to have not yet been confirmed by the court.

Milos Pandrc, 30, pleaded guilty to charges of belonging to Saric’s organized crime group, and smuggling cocaine from Brazil in 2008 and Uruguay in 2009 for Saric. Over two tons of cocaine were seized in a 2009 police raid codenamed “Balkan Warrior,” on a yacht off the coast ofUruguay.  He would receive10 and a half years in prison. Marko Vorotovic, 32 pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to nine years.

Nikola “Dzoni” Pavlovic, 32, and Dejan “Raka” Rakic, 36, would get eight years for organized crime and distribution of drugs.

Aleksandar Miodrag, 31, admitted to being a part of Saric’s group, and bringing €250,000 (US$332,000) from Serbia to Brazil in 2008 to buy cocaine for Saric. His agreement stipulates four years behind bars.

Milos Krpovic, 36, pleaded guilty to belonging to Saric’s group and falsifying documents for the group. If confirmed by the court, he will receive a sentence of two years and nine months in prison.

Five more defendants in the court remain to be tried. By decision of the Special Court for Organized Crime, their cases will be merged to expedite the trial. Darko Saric and six other defendants are still at large, and are being tried in absentia.  Those who made plea bargains are not considered to be at the top of Saric's hierarchy.  For instance, Zeljko Vujanovic, who allegedly served as the leader of this narcosmuggling group and was in direct contact with Saric did not opt for a plea bargain.  

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the court has not yet confirmed the terms of the plea bargains reached  between the prosecutor's office and the accused.