LOS ANGELES (AP) – Federal prosecutors say three South American men face life in prison after being convicted in California of trafficking $28 million worth of cocaine on the open ocean.

The Union-Tribune reports the three were found guilty Tuesday in San Diego of charges including intent to distribute cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the men threw bails of cocaine overboard while being chased near Ecuador in December 2017. They were arrested after a Coast Guard marksman shot and disabled the smugglers’ boat.

Officials say they trafficked more than 2,700 pounds (1,225 kilograms) of cocaine.

Adrian Andres Cortez-Quinonez, Segundo Marcial Dominguez-Caicedo and Victor Gaspar-Chichande each face life behind bars and a $10 million fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 15.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

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