July 9, 2013
Daniel “Loco” Barrera, a prolific Colombian drug kingpin, was extradited to the U.S. and will face charges that he flooded the planet with illicit drugs, and laundered millions of dollars in the process. The U.S government also alleges that Barrera worked with two known terrorist organizations responsible for decades of death and destruction in Colombia.
In March 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Barrera as a “Special Designated Narcotics Trafficker,” pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. That led to the Venezuelan authorities arrest of the notorious cartel leader on September 18, 2012 and his return to Columbia.
Working closely with Colombian authorities, U.S. officials actively sought Barrera’s extradition to America where he will be tried in federal court.
The extradition of Barrera is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation led by DEA and HSI. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal supply of drug crossing America’s borders each year.
“Mr. Barrera and his co-conspirators stand accused of running one of the largest cocaine trafficking operations in history,” HSI/ICE Executive Assistant Director James Dinkins said. “His extradition to the United States represents a major victory for the rule of law. While Mr. Barrera may have thought he was safe hiding and conducting his illicit activities in South American countries, an international team of law enforcement agencies worked tirelessly and cooperatively towards bringing him to justice.”
DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart agreed. “Daniel Barrera allegedly worked with both the FARC and AUC terrorist organizations in operating his drug trafficking syndicate, becoming one of the most prolific drug traffickers of the past twenty years. Charged with manufacturing upwards of 400 tons of cocaine a year, Barrera’s alleged impact on the global trade of cocaine was immense – but so was DEA’s response. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of our Colombian and U.S. law enforcement counterparts, Barrera’s criminal career is over as he now faces charges that may bring him a life behind bars.”
As alleged in the Superseding Indictments filed in the Southern District of New York (S1 07 Cr. 862 (AKH)), the Eastern District of New York (S2 10 Cr. 288 (ILG)), the Southern District of Florida (S1 10 Cr. 20587 (DLG)), and other documents filed in these cases, and information in the public record:
“Since 1998, Barrera has run a cocaine manufacturing and trafficking syndicate which each month processed approximately 30,000 kilograms of raw cocaine base into about the same amount of cocaine powder – in total, up to approximately 400 tons of cocaine annually.
Barrera purchased the raw cocaine base or paste from the designated terrorist group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the “FARC”), which has been the world’s largest supplier of cocaine and which has engaged in bombings, massacres, kidnappings, and other acts of violence within Colombia.
Barrera converted the raw cocaine into powder at laboratories he owned and operated in an area of Colombia controlled by the since demobilized terrorist group, Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (the “AUC”). For years, the AUC’s main political objective was to defeat the FARC in armed conflict, and it financed its terrorist activities through the proceeds of cocaine trafficking in AUC-controlled regions of Colombia.
Although Barrera purchased raw materials for cocaine production from the FARC, he was able to maintain his network of cocaine-processing laboratories in AUC-controlled territory, in part by paying monthly “taxes” to the AUC. The fees Barrera paid to the AUC also allowed him to safely move the processed cocaine within and without Colombia, into locations on four continents – including the U.S.
Barrera reaped tens of millions of dollars of profits from cocaine trafficking, which he laundered through illicit means. The FARC and the AUC are both designated by the U.S. Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”
Barrera, 44, faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison if he is convicted.
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