Manuel Noriega on Trial
After a seven-month trial, Miami federal judge William M. Hoeveler sentenced deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega to forty years in prison on eight counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering. Noriega's rule had ended with the invasion of Panama under President George H. W. Bush on December 20, 1989. After American forces used psychological tactics, including a constant barrage of loud rock music, Noriega surrendered from the Vatican embassy in Panama City on January 3, 1990, and was extradited to Florida. The judge initially denied Noriega prisoner of war status, but his lawyer Frank A. Rubino eventually won the argument, which meant he was incarcerated in a minimum security prison. After two decades, Noriega was briefly extradited to France to face trial before returning to Panama in 2011, where he remained imprisoned until his death in 2017.