International authorities continue to crack down on international drug traffickers in attempts to halt their enterprises. Most of the targets operate in Central America, with Colombia being one of the largest exporters of cocaine. This afternoon, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos held a press conference in Bogata, Colombia to let the world know about a series of indictments of major narcotics offenders. A total of 17 kingpins were listed for producing and distributing coke in Cali, Colombia, to the northern United States. Southern District of Florida Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer and Eastern District of New York Acting Attorney Kelly T. Currie were in attendance.
The United States unsealed five indictments at the press conference. It revealed the arrests of shot callers in Los Drabness, also known as Clan Usuga, Colombia’s premier drug trafficking gang. Six of the individuals were charged in Brooklyn and Miami. All face life in prison for cocaine trafficking.
A kingpin known as Arajulo was implicated in The United States v. Eduard Fernando Giraldo Cardoza. The U.S. claims he “facilitated the transfer of multi-ton shipments of cocaine…for ultimate importation into the United States.” He is also accused of “taxing” anyone running a drug operation on his turf, charging a fee for every kilo of cocaine produced and transported.
Orlando Gutierrez-Rendon faces similar charges. He is accused of shipping tons of cocaine from Colombia into Mexico, El Salvador and Panama, then to the United States. He also charged with hiring hitmen to keep order and his gang “also acted as a collection agency, using violence and murder in order to obtain payments and collect outstanding debts related to cocaine shipments.”
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