An American convicted in Spain of carrying cocaine into that country could be out of prison shortly now that he has been returned to the United States.

Conan Owen, 24, of Annandale, Va., a freelance photographer who once worked for Vice President George Bush, is scheduled to appear before two U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiners the week of Nov. 21. He is being held at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York and is to be moved in several weeks to a minimum-security federal prison facility in the Washington area.Last April, 13 months after his arrest in Barcelona, Owen was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of taking four pounds of cocaine into Spain from Chile in a false-bottom suitcase.

Owen says he was asked by an acquaintance to deliver the suitcase to Spain, and that he was unaware that it contained cocaine.

He was returned Monday to the United States under the terms of a 1983 treaty that provides for the transfer of prisoners between the United States and Spain when a citizen of one country is convicted of a crime in the other.