APRIL 30 (MIAMI) –Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney of the Southern District of Florida, announced that Jose Evaristo Linares-Castillo, a/k/a “Don Eva,” has been extradited from Colombia to the United States.
Linares-Castillo and four co-conspirators were indicted in the Southern District of Florida for drug trafficking and money laundering activities within the Southern District of Florida. Linares-Castillo, a Colombian citizen, is designated a Consolidated Priority Organization Target (“CPOT”) by the Department of Justice, a designation given to the most significant narcotics traffickers in the world. Linares-Castillo was responsible for overseeing the manufacture and transportation of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Apure, Venezuela to Central America and the Caribbean. Linares-Castillo used many lieutenants and independent cocaine sub-contractors to accomplish the movement of cocaine produced in his laboratories in Colombia. Based upon this investigation, Linares-Castillo’s organization maintained possession of approximately 20,000 kilograms of cocaine cached in Apure, Venezuela, near Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,” or “FARC”) controlled clandestine airstrips, where the cocaine laden aircraft were launched. Linares-Castillo was closely affiliated with CPOT Daniel Arnoldo Barrera-Barrera, a/k/a “Loco Barrera,” as well as with deceased CPOT Pedro Olivero Guerrera-Castillo, a/k/a “Cuchillo.”
Throughout the course of this investigation, agents from the DEA Miami Field Division as well as Assistant United States Attorneys for the Southern District of Florida uncovered a vast drug trafficking and money laundering network, which resulted in the identification of key members of the Linares-Castillo drug trafficking organization responsible for supplying members of the Mexico based Sinaloa Drug Cartel thousands of kilograms of cocaine in Honduras. The kilograms of cocaine were then transported to the United States, via Mexico for distribution. The proceeds from the drug trafficking venture were then repatriated to Colombia through traditional money laundering methods. Linares-Castillo was also named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York, charging that he conspired to import ton-quantities of cocaine into the United States, to provide material support to the FARC, and to engage in narco-terrorism.
This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) led by DEA. 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 drug supply.