Suspected Balkan drug boss pleads not guilty

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A suspected Balkan drug boss has pleaded not guilty to charges that he trafficked 5.7 tons of cocaine from South America to Europe and laundered millions of dollars in drug money.

Darko Saric told the judges on Monday that "it's all one big lie." This was Saric's first court appearance since he was jailed last week after several years on the run.

Serbian authorities have said that Saric surrendered after he was located in an unidentified country in Latin America with the help of the U.S. and other international intelligence agencies.

Saric, 44, has been charged in Serbia with trafficking the cocaine and laundering at least 22 million euros ($30 million.)

The Balkan countries are one of the main drug-smuggling transit routes toward western Europe.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.