Local April 9, 2013 | 10:04 am

Ex Dominican antinarcotics official faces 50 years in jail

NEW YORK. – The former operations chief of Dominican Republic’s antinarcotics agency (DNCD) was arraigned in South District Federal Court Monday after being extradited Friday from the Dominican Republic to face charges drug trafficking, conspiracy and of smuggling nearly 1,000 kilos of cocaine into the U.S. from the Caribbean country.

Prosecutors said Francisco Antonio Guerrero Hiraldo and other unnamed accomplices in the 9-page indictment used his privileged position to protect politically connected drug dealers and help them ship drugs to the U.S., and include former Dominican Army Capt. Quirino Paulino, now being held in federal facility in Brooklyn and yet to be sentenced after plea bargaining.

In a statement on Hiraldo’s appearance in federal court, prosecutors said the defendant and others, known and unknown, conspired to ship cocaine and other narcotics to U.S. territory between 2001 and 2005.

Prosecutors said in November 2007 the retired admiral protected a shipment of 600 kilos of cocaine from Colombia to Dominican Republic on boats, adding that if convicted, Hiraldo faces at least 50 years in federal prison.

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