The accused Colombian drug trafficker is predicted to make his first US courtroom look after being extradited from Bogota.
One in every of Colombia’s most infamous drug traffickers shipped “outrageous portions of cocaine” into the USA, a high US prosecutor has mentioned, hours after Dairo Antonio Usuga was extradited to face prices in New York.
Usuga, higher often called Otoniel, is predicted to be arraigned in US federal courtroom in Brooklyn on Thursday on three prices, together with conspiring to fabricate and distribute cocaine, mentioned Breon Peace, the US lawyer for the Japanese District of New York.
Otoniel is “one of the crucial harmful, most wished drug kingpins on the planet” who as soon as had as many as 6,000 “henchmen” below his command, Peace advised reporters.
“He earned huge income, measured in billions, not hundreds of thousands,” Peace mentioned. “As we speak he’ll lastly face justice.”
A lawyer for Otoniel declined to remark to the Reuters information company.
Colombian authorities captured Otoniel in October final yr after an enormous army operation.
President Ivan Duque mentioned on the time that his arrest marked “the largest blow in opposition to drug trafficking in our nation this century”, solely corresponding to the autumn of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Duque additionally welcomed Otoniel’s extradition to the US as a second of triumph for “legality, the rule of legislation, the safety forces and justice”.
On Wednesday afternoon, a convoy of 5 bulletproof police automobiles transported Otoniel from a jail within the capital, Bogota, to a army airport, the place he was handed over to US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officers.
The Gulf Clan operates in 12 of Colombia’s 32 provinces, and counts some 3,800 members, in line with data supplied by the nation’s nationwide police.
Additionally it is concerned with unlawful mining, and the federal government accuses the group of threatening and killing group leaders throughout the nation.
Otoniel has lengthy been a fixture on the DEA’s most-wanted record.
He was first indicted in 2009 in Manhattan federal courtroom on narcotics prices and for allegedly offering help to a far-right paramilitary group designated a terrorist organisation by Washington.
Later indictments in Brooklyn and Miami federal courts accused him of importing into the US a minimum of 73 metric tonnes of cocaine between 2003 and 2014 by way of nations together with Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Honduras.
The US made a formal request for his extradition in late November, simply weeks after he was captured within the northern Uraba area, a key drug route.
Colombia’s excessive courtroom dismissed a petition from a gaggle of Otoniel’s victims who argued that his extradition would violate their rights to justice and reparation and demanded he first face the greater than 128 proceedings in opposition to him in Colombia.
Duque mentioned that from the US, Otoniel would proceed collaborating with the Colombian authorities within the investigations in opposition to him and as soon as he completes his sentences for drug trafficking, he’ll return to “Colombia to pay for the crimes he dedicated”.
The extradition comes simply weeks after former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was extradited to the US to face drug trafficking and weapons prices of his personal.