Wife Of US Anti-Drug
Commander In Colombia
Charged In Cocaine Smuggling!
From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Military Affairs Correspondent

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The wife of a senior U.S. Army colonel who was in charge of anti-drug efforts in Colombia turned herself in to authorities on Thursday after being charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Laurie Anne Hiett, the wife of U.S. Army Col. James Hiett, was served with an arrest warrant in late June after a package containing 2.7 pounds of cocaine was mailed from the U.S. military base in Bogota with her name on the return address label, according to an affidavit.
A Pentagon official told CNN that Mrs. Hiett surrendered in New York City. As a result of the case, the U.S. military investigated Col. Hiett and cleared him of any wrongdoing.
The Village Voice, a New York weekly newspaper, first broke the story about the arrest warrant and CNN later obtained documents related to the case.
According to the affidavit, undercover U.S. postal inspectors and New York City police officers delivered the package from Mrs. Hiett -- wrapped in a brown paper bag about 12x4x6 inches -- to an address in New York on May 25 and later questioned a man who tried to flee the residence.
Inside the house, authorities found a second bag of cocaine and $13,000. The man said he had received about five or six shipments of cocaine sent from Bogota and that he had been paid $1,500 for each of the previous packages, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says Mrs. Hiett was interviewed and "stated that she had sent six packages to New York through the mail on behalf of her husband's chauffeur. She claimed that she did not know the contents of the packages she had shipped."
A spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command told CNN the husband, Col. Hiett, was investigated by the U.S. military after the incident occurred and has been cleared of any wrong-doing.
The Army said Col. Hiett requested and was granted a transfer from Bogota, where he was in charge of the U.S. military group providing assistance to the Colombian government's counter-narcotics effort.