A former colonel once known as Bolivia's "Minister of Cocaine" could get up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of conspiring to smuggle the drug into the United States.

A federal jury took two hours Wednesday to convict Luis Arce Gomez, interior minister under Bolivia's military junta in the early 1980s."We never gave up. We kept looking for him," said James Shedd, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Defense attorney Stephen Finja said he will appeal. Sentencing was set for March 22.