Sergio Contreras, popularly known as ‘Koke,’ a former footballer, pled guilty to directing a cocaine trafficking organization and accepted a six-year prison sentence in Malaga.
The 40-year-old, who also played for Houston Dynamo, Malaga, Marseille, and Sporting Club, consented to a plea deal after being warned that prosecutors had asked for a 16-year prison sentence.
The sentence will be issued in the coming days and cannot be challenged.
The former footballer was one of 17 defendants accused of purchasing big amounts of drugs and smuggling them into several European nations through lorries.
Koke was previously named as the gang boss in a pre-trial indictment.
The ring, which the ex-soccer player has now admitted to running, primarily purchased marijuana and cannabis resin, but also cocaine.
The gang was busted in November 2019 following an intensive investigation by Spanish police in Operation Vinculada.
One of the narcotics shipments related to the ex-soccer player’s gang was reported to have included vacuum-packed marijuana and cocaine disguised inside a cargo of garlic and was worth £350,000 ($440,430).
On March 27, 16 of the defendants appeared in court at Malaga’s Provincial Court, but the trial was suspended after the 17th and last female suspect, who the police are still looking for, failed to appear.
At a brief hearing on Tuesday, all 16 people who attended the initial trial admitted their guilt.
They agreed to accept prison sentences ranging from two to six years as part of their plea bargain bargains.
Koke began his career in his native club in Malaga, Spain, where he made his senior debut in 2002.
He made seven MLS games for Houston in 2011 before returning to Spain and briefly joining Rayo Vallecano.
His greatest seasons were spent with Aris, where he scored 31 goals in 141 games over two seasons before retiring in 2016.