Toronto trucker 'Russian Mike' pleads guilty to moving cocaine for El Chapo
A Toronto trucker who moved mountains of cocaine for drug kingpin El Chapo has hit the skids.
Mykhaylo “Russian Mike” Koretskyy, 46, changed his mind as his trial date ticked closer and pleaded guilty to greasing the wheels of a blow empire that moved cocaine from Los Angeles to Buffalo and on to Canada.
U.S. officials claim Koretskyy used his transport company as a front for the operation. He had been slated to go on trial for drug trafficking and conspiracy in January, along with former Toronto real estate agent Stephen Tello, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, and El Chapo’s right-hand man, Alex Cifuentes-Villa.
The indictment filed in the Southern District of New York accused Koretskyy of importing five kilos of cocaine into the U.S. The feds claim the conspiracy ran from 2008 to 2014.
Koretskyy was arrested in Curaçao, in the Caribbean, in January 2018. Interpol had red-flagged the Toronto trucker and he was arrested after he disembarked from an Air Canada flight.
Since June 2019, he has been caged at New York’s notorious Metropolitan Correction Center while awaiting trial.
Guzman — the bloodthirsty kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel — was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison in 2019. Home is now the brutal Supermax Federal Prison in Colorado.
According to documents obtained by the National Post, federal prosecutors believed they held all the cards in the upcoming trial, including incendiary phone calls among the conspirators.
At his Dec. 11 plea hearing, Koretskyy said he was born in Ukraine, where he had “graduated from high school and also college,” but he holds Canadian citizenship.
“In 2013, I agreed with others to import a large amount of cocaine from Mexico to Canada, through the United States,” he said.