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May 02, 1987

After months of negotiations, former race car driver John Paul Sr. pleaded guilty to federal charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, tax evasion and conspiracy to obtain a false passport.

If U.S. District Judge Susan Black accepts the plea agreement in Jacksonville, Fla., Paul faces a maximum of 25 years in prison, a fine of up to $120,000, plus forfeiture of a yacht, a luxury car and $170,000 in currency. Sentencing is scheduled for June 26.

The charges grew out of a conspiracy to smuggle about 200,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States from Colombia, although Paul said Friday the total was only 100,000 pounds.

Paul was sentenced in state court in January to 20 years in prison in connection with the attempted murder of federal drug witness Stephen Carson in 1983. Carson had testified in the drug case before a federal grand jury.

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