Ex-EPL star handed 11-year jail term

English Premier League

Former Portsmouth and Southampton midfielder Jhon Viafara has been handed an 11-year prison sentence after being found guilty of drug trafficking.

Viafara, 42, was sentenced to 11 years behind bars by a federal court in Texas on Wednesday last week after being found to have smuggled drugs from his native Colombia into the US.

The 17-times capped international was extradited from his homeland in January after being accused of importing two tonnes worth of cocaine, valued at around $21 million (R422 million) according to the Daily Mail.

Viafara, who had been under investigation for the last three years, was found to have conspired with the so-called Gulf Cartel in Colombia to send shipments of cocaine to Mexico on speedboats, from where the drugs ultimately made their way north into the US.

"The defendant, in this case, had it all, worldwide fame, wealth, and stature. Despite all of this, he chose to use his talents to advance the evil of the drug trade," Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ganjei said, per the reports.

"Traffickers should take note, no matter who you are; no matter where in the world you live; the United States will prosecute you if you join in a conspiracy to send drugs to our country."

The former combative midfielder spent the majority of his career in Colombia, where he won the 2004 Copa Libertadores with Once Caldas, but also enjoyed time in England with Portsmouth and Southampton, as well as a spell with LaLiga side Real Sociedad.

Scroll through the gallery below to see other former footballers who recently spent time behind bars

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