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Model's drug-smuggling trial begins in Argentina

October 18, 2011

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—Colombian model Angie Sanclemente declared her innocence Tuesday as her cocaine-smuggling trial began in Argentina.

The case against Sanclemente and six others alleges that she and her Argentine boyfriend recruited beautiful young women to smuggle drugs to the Mexican resort of Cancun en route to Europe for $5,000 a trip.

The probe began when one of the suspects was allegedly caught in the Buenos Aires international airport with 121 pounds (55 kilos) of cocaine.

The former Colombian Coffee Queen says she came to Argentina to get married, not to commit crimes.

"I'm not interested in dirty business," Sanclemente declared, and clarified that she considers herself an actress, not a model.

But she also acknowledged that she felt she couldn't abandon her boyfriend even though he "was mixed up in something criminal."

Sanclemente, 31, was a fugitive in Argentina for months before her arrest in 2010. If convicted, she faces up to 16 years in prison.

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