THE largest drug traffic trial ever in Spain started Monday in Andalucia as members of the Castanas clan were brought to justice.
Prosecutors will now be trying a total of 75 defendants after another 20 were let off the hook during the first oral hearing in the Cadiz port city of Algeciras.
But a dozen of those alleged gang members are still on the run, with warrants for their arrest out since the police raided their homes in 2020.
The main defendant is Antonio Tejon, who police believe to be the leader of the gang.
Prosecutors were originally asking judges to imprison gang members to a total of 2,000 years and fine them a combined €16 billion.
But they then made deals with a total of 62 of the accused, helping to lower their sentences.
Special anti-drug trafficking units arrested Tejon in September 2020 after he made around €30 million from smuggling hashish from Morocco to Spain.
Prosecutors are asking he be sent down for a total of 12 and a half years.
Over 400 Guardia Civil agents took part in the raids between February 24 and September 15, 2020.
Although the drug traffickers centred their operations around Cadiz, they also had a presence in Seville, Malaga and Huelva.
In Gibraltar’s border town La Linea, they had even built their own villas on an illegal plot of land known as Narcoville.
The delay in the case followed a search for a large enough courtroom to try all the accused together.
Finally, judges decided to try the Castanas gang in two large halls on different floors connected by a video link.
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