U.S. Marshals: Accused drug trafficker planned escape

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The U-S Marshals Service has placed an accused drug trafficker back in solitary confinement in the Knox County jail after a second alleged escape attempt.

An attorney for Vicente Corona wants a hearing on why he was sent back to solitary confinement on April 13th, where he remains.

Corona is set to stand trial in July on a federal drug trafficking charges.

Authorities allege he used mail-delivery services to ship from California to Knoxville and Georgia more than a half-ton of marijuana and a quarter-ton of cocaine.

Authorities say Corona plotted his first escape from the Blount County Jail with his brother in January 2006.

He never escaped. Corona was placed in solitary confinement and lost his chance for being allowed out on bond.

Now the U-S Marshals Service alleged he tried again to escape and was sent back to solitary confinement.

His attorney, Stephen Johnson, said Corona was a well-behaved inmate after he was allowed back into the general population.

He said Corona even helped guards by translating with Hispanic inmates.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)