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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2002

Joe Kilmer, Special Agent
Public Information Officer
Office: 305-994-4837
Cellular: 305-345-6085
Jim Shedd, Special Agent
Public Information Officer (Spanish Media Contact)
Office: 305-994-4837
Cellular: 305-796-7344

Major Colombian Drug Trafficker Extradicted To South Florida

Earlier this morning, Colombian National Victor Julio PATINO-Fomeque was put on a DEA airplane in Colombia for extradition to Miami to answer to drug and money laundering charges. PATINO arrived in Miami this afternoon, and was transported to the United States Marshal's Office in downtown Miami for arrest processing.

PATINO was charged via Indictment in July 2001 in Fort Lauderdale with Conspiracy to Import Cocaine and Heroin and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering in the Southern District of Florida. As a result of this indictment, PATINO has been in custody in Colombia since April 2002.

DEA Miami Special Agent in Charge Thomas W. Raffanello stated, "PATINO is a perfect example of the type of major international drug trafficker the DEA targets worldwide. DEA would like to commend the Colombian Government for their cooperation and tireless efforts in bringing this man to justice."

An Initial Appearance in Federal Magistrate's court is anticipated for PATINO on Monday, December 09, 2002 at 11:00 A.M. at the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

DEA Public Information Officers will be available for on-camera interviews in English and Spanish with the media on Monday following the court appearance.

DEA video and photographic coverage of the extradition will be made available later on this afternoon. To obtain the video coverage you can contact Rich Phillips at CNN Miami (305-892-5154) for uplink coordinates. No dubs will be made. To obtain the the photographic coverage, please monitor the three major wire services (AP, AFP, and Reuters).

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