Ex-Colombian president’s family face US extradition over drugs charges

June 11, 2012

The Guardian on June 11, 2012 released the following:

“Álvaro Uribe’s niece and her mother to stand trial over alleged ties to Sinaloa cartel drug lord, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán

Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogotá

A niece of former the Colombian president Álvaro Uribe and her mother are awaiting extradition to the US over claims they had ties to the world’s most wanted drug lord.

Ana Maria Uribe Cifuentes and her mother, Dolly Cifuentes Villa, were arrested last year after a request from a US federal court for alleged ties to the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

According to an investigation published by the Nuevo Arco Iris political research centre in Bogotá, Uribe Cifuentes is the daughter of former president Álvaro Uribe’s brother Jaime, who died of throat cancer in 2001.

Both women are alleged to belong to the Cifuentes Villa clan which, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, trafficked at least 30 tonnes of cocaine to the US between 2009 and 2011, and laundered the proceeds in several Latin American countries including Colombia.

On Friday, Colombian police announced they had seized US$15m (£10m) in assets from the Sinaloa cartel, owned by Cifuentes Villa and two of her brothers on behalf of El Chapo.

On Sunday, Álvaro Uribe denied any knowledge of Jaime’s relationship with Cifuentes Villa, or the existence of his niece, despite the fact the investigation has a fax of a birth certificate declaring Jaime Uribe as her father.

“My brother Jaime died in 2001, married to Astrid Velez, they had two children … Any other romantic relationship that my brother may have had was part of his personal life and is unknown to me,” Álvaro Uribe tweeted on Sunday. He denied Jaime was ever linked to the drug lord Pablo Escobar.

According to the Nuevo Arco Iris investigation, Jaime Uribe was arrested and interrogated by the army in 1986 after detectives discovered calls had been made from his carphone to Escobar, leader of the Medellín cartel.

Álvaro Uribe acknowledged that his brother had been arrested but said he had been released and charges were dropped, claiming Jaime was recovering from throat surgery in a local hospital at the time the calls were made. “His car phone was cloned by criminals,” Alvaro Uribe tweeted.

The Uribe family has long faced accusations of ties to drug trafficking. A US intelligence report from 1991, declassified in 2004, identified Álvaro Uribe as a “close friend” of Escobar, who was “dedicated to collaboration with the Medellín cartel”. It also says Uribe’s father was murdered “for his connection with the narcotic (sic) traffickers”. Officially Uribe’s father died while trying to resist being kidnapped by leftist guerrillas in 1983.

The US state department disavowed the intelligence report when it was published, during Uribe’s second year in office, saying it had “no credible information” to substantiate the information.

Another Uribe brother, Santiago, isbeing investigated over the alleged founding and leadership of a rightwing paramilitary group, while Uribe’s cousin Mario lost his seat in the senate and was jailed for seven and a half years over ties to paramilitaries, main players in Colombia’s drug trade.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Colombia here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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

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Lead Defendant in Operation Luz Verde Extradited from Mexico

May 24, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 23, 2012 released the following:

“United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that today Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal, was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States to face federal racketeering (RICO) and drug charges in the Southern District of California. According to court documents, Villareal is the lead defendant in a 43-defendant racketeering prosecution against the Fernando Sanchez- Arellano Organization (FSO) which has been ongoing in the Southern District of California since July 2010. Villareal was arrested by Mexican law enforcement officers on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States. Since his arrest in Mexico, Villareal has remained in custody pending extradition to the United States. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct Arellano-Felix Organization and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

“Today’s extradition of Villareal, a top-lieutenant in the FSO who answered directly to Fernando Sanchez Arellano, highlights our continued successful efforts to work with the government of Mexico to combat organized criminal activity along the southwest border,” United States Attorney Duffy stated. To date, 38 defendants have entered guilty pleas in the case. During those guilty pleas, the defendants admitted to participating in a violent transnational racketeering enterprise controlled by Fernando Sanchez- Arellano and to committing murders, kidnappings, robberies, assaults, money laundering, and a wide range of drug trafficking offenses. Four defendants are fugitives and the only other remaining in-custody defendant is scheduled for trial on June 5, 2012.

The indictment in this case resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF). The CBVTF was formed to target those individuals involved in organized crime-related violent activities affecting both the United States and Mexico. Law enforcement personnel assigned to the CBVTF made extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps and other sophisticated investigative techniques to develop the significant evidence which led to the charges in this case.

United States Attorney Duffy praised the Mexican government for their assistance in the extradition of Villareal. She also commended the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort in handling this investigation, Operation Luz Verde. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; San Diego Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration; San Diego Sheriff’s Office; Chula Vista Police Department; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; San Diego District Attorney’s Office; and California Department of Justice participated in this OCDETF investigation. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the extradition. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against organized crime and major drug trafficking organizations.

The defendant is expected to be in federal court in San Diego tomorrow, May 24, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes.

An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


Colombia captures alleged drug trafficker who pioneered use of submarines

March 21, 2012

Pocono Record on March 18, 2012 released the following:

“By Fox News Latino

BOGOTA, Colombia — A drug trafficker who pioneered the use of submarines to smuggle cocaine has been captured in southwestern Colombia, the National Police said.

Jose Samir Renteria, who is the subject of a US extradition request, was arrested in Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca province.

Renteria has links to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group and the Los Rastrojos gang, US officials said.

The suspect got involved in the illegal drug trade in the mid-1980s, when he allegedly began smuggling cocaine into the US using speedboats that operated out of Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Renteria became a partner of Neftali Umensa, one of the top leaders of the FARC’s 30th Front, who was killed by the army on Oct. 20.

US investigators determined that Renteria also had contacts and did business with Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. Renteria, who is wanted on drug charges by a US federal court in Florida, is the subject of a Dec. 2, 2010, extradition request.

Colombian drug traffickers started using semi-submersibles in 1993. In that year, Colombia’s navy seized one of the vessels off Providencia Island in the Caribbean.

The semi-submersibles cannot dive like normal submarines, but are equipped with valves that, when opened by the operators, quickly flood the vessel, causing it and any drugs on board to quickly sink to an unrecoverable depth.

The crew then jumps overboard and, since no drugs are discovered, they avoid prosecution.

Since 1993, Colombian security forces have seized more than 50 of the vessels.

In September 2011, a sub with the capacity to haul at least 10 tons of drugs to Central America was seized from the FARC on Colombia’s southwestern Pacific coast by a police special operations unit.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Colombia here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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