Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and 14 other current and former Venezuelan government officials have been indicted by the United States Department of Justice for smuggling massive amounts of cocaine into the United States, and cryptocurrency is mentioned in the indictment.

The United States claims that Venezuela’s government was corrupted through and through, and it literally became a drug cartel called ‘Cartel of the Suns’, which is named after the insignia that high ranking Venezuelan military officials wear.

Apparently, for more than 20 years the Venezuelan government has worked with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a communist militia group and pseudo nation state that the United States has been at war with for decades, to smuggle enormous amounts of cocaine into the United States.

Further, the United States claims that Venezuela literally used cocaine as a weapon to inflict damage on American citizens.

Where crypto comes in is that the United States alludes to the possibility that cryptocurrency was used to smuggle the illegal cocaine proceeds, specifically saying “Today’s announcement highlights Homeland Security Investigations (HSI’s) global reach and commitment to aggressively identify, target and investigate individuals who violate U.S. laws, exploit financial systems, and hide behind cryptocurrency to further their illicit criminal activity.  Let this indictment be a reminder that no one is above the law – not even powerful political officials.”

Further, Venezuela’s superintendent of cryptocurrency, which is in charge of the Petro, has been indicted in this case, perhaps suggesting that the Petro was involved with drug smuggling on a national level.

Beyond crypto, the most notable aspect of this case is that President Maduro and the other government officials which were indicted face lifetime in prison in the United States, perhaps setting the stage for an overt United States led attempt to topple the Venezuelan government.