Colombia Extradites Convicted Drug Trafficker to US; Court Approves Extradition of 2nd Alleged Cartel Member

June 29, 2011

Colombia’s government extradited a convicted drug trafficker on Tuesday to face trial in the United States, and the country’s highest court ruled a second alleged dealer could be sent to the U.S.

The extradited suspect, 73-year-old Phanor Arizabaleta, is charged with drug trafficking by a court in the U.S. capital. Officials say Arizabaleta was a key figure in the now-defunct Cali cartel.

Arizabaleta previously served several years of a 28-year sentence under house arrest in Colombia due to heart problems. He was arrested again last September.

Later Tuesday, Colombia’s Supreme Court approved the extradition of Ramon Quintero Sanclemente to face money laundering and drug charges in Florida.

Quintero, 52, is alleged to a member of Norte del Valle drug cartel. He was captured in Ecuador in 2010, then sent back to Colombia this month for extradition proceedings on the U.S. charges.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Argentine Authorities Arrest Suspected Colombian Drug Trafficker; Extradition to US Underway

June 14, 2010

A suspected Colombian drug trafficker who operated under the radar for years in Argentina was described Friday as a ringleader capable of giving direct orders to Colombia’s most-wanted cocaine kingpins and with close ties to Mexico’s feared Sinaloa cartel.

Luis Caicedo Velandia was arrested as he walked near a Buenos Aires shopping mall April 12 and has been held under extremely high security, according to Argentine authorities, who did not reveal his capture until the United States formally filed a request for his extradition this week.

Caicedo, a former Colombian police official who carried a false Guatemalan passport, is responsible for moving tons of cocaine into the U.S. and laundering billions of dollars in profits.

Representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, the Justice Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington declined to comment on the indictment filed in New York City, saying it is a continuing investigation.

U.S. officials presented a case file more than 300 pages thick in support of his extradition, a process scheduled to begin within 10 days that can be appealed up to Argentina’s Supreme Court.

According to Argentine and Colombian media, intelligence agencies from all three countries focused on Caicedo after containers were intercepted in the ports of Manzanillo, Mexico, and Buenaventura, Colombia, containing drug profits hidden among shipments of fertilizer. Caicedo’s phone calls were later intercepted, leading authorities to Buenos Aires, where he was quietly living under a Guatemalan alias in a gated suburban community.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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