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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2003

Three Arrested in Colombia On U.S. Drug and Gun Charges

SEP 05 -- Boston, MA….Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; Dan Kumor, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in New England; Paul Evans, Commissioner of the Boston Police Department; Robin M. Avers, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Steven J. Farquharson, Interim District Director of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Thomas J. Foley, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Michel Sullivan, United States Attorney announced today that the Colombian government in cooperation with the United States today arrested:

1. JAISON GALVIS-GARCIA
2. JOAN MANUEL PALACIOS-VALENCIA
3. DIEGO VALENCIA

On May 23, 2003, the three defendants were named along with eighteen others in an indictment charging them with conspiracy to import heroin; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and the distribution of heroin; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine; use of a telephone to facilitate the commission of a felony; gun trafficking; transfer of a firearm to be used in a murder; and a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

"The arrests yesterday show that international borders no longer provide safety and security for drug traffickers. The DEA will continue to aggressively pursue all the members of these drug organizations domestically and internationally," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Trouville. "International cooperation made these arrests possible; our commitment to bringing these defendants to justice knows no borders. I would like to thank the Colombian government for their dedication to this case."

Others charged in the indictment were:

1. MARIA LORENA BARROSO, age 21
2. ANDERSON BERRIOS-LOPERA, age 20
3. WANDA MARGARITA CARMONA, age 43
4. LUIS ALBERTO CEXTARY, age 29
5. MARK SANCHEZ CLEMENTE, age 36
6. IVAN A. DMITRIEFF, age 24
7. DAVID O. GUTIERREZ, age 22
8. JOANNA JIMENEZ, age 36
9. PETER MANCUSI, age 41
10. MARIA T. MORALES, age 41
11. WILLIAM PINTO age, 35
12. JORGE OSWALDO RESTREPO, age 31
13. JUAN DAVID RESTREPO
14. MARIO SANCHEZ, age 25
15. CARMEN NELLY VALENCIA-GALVEZ, age 40
16. JUAN DARIO VALENCIA, age 21
17. CESAR AUGUSTO ZAPATA, age 25
18. JADER PEREZ ZAPATA, age 22

According to the Indictment and the affidavit filed in support of a search warrant, today's charges are the result of an investigation that began in August 2002. It is alleged that from August 2002, to May 2003, eleven of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to import heroin from Ecuador and distribute it in Boston, Revere and other locations in Massachusetts. It is alleged that as part of the conspiracy, the heroin supply originated in Colombia, was sent to Ecuador and then transported by persons, who ingested the heroin, on airline flights that entered the United States via Houston, Texas and then continued on to Boston where it was distributed. If convicted of these charges, each of the eleven defendants faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $4 million fine.

CLEMENTE, MORALES, PINTO, and JADAR PEREZ ZAPATA, are each additionally charged with using a telephone on various dates to facilitate the commission of a felony. If convicted on these charges, each of the four defendants faces a maximum sentence of 4 years' imprisonment, to be followed by a term of supervised release, and a fine of $30,000.

BARROSO, MANCUSI, and VALENCIA are each charged with dealing in firearms in Boston, Everett and elsewhere in Massachusetts without a license to do so from March 12, 2003 to May 21, 2003. If convicted of this charge, each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

BARROSO and VALENCIA are further charged with the transfer of a 357 Smith and Wesson Magnum revolver that was intended to be used in a murder. If convicted of this charge the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment also charges MANCUSI with being a felon in possession of a Ruger, Mark I, .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol; a Duetsche Werke, Pocket Automatic, .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol; and 50 rounds of Winchester .32 caliber ammunition. Federal law prohibits individuals previously convicted of state or federal felonies from possessing firearms or ammunition. If convicted of this charge, MANCUSI faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years' supervised release, and $250,000 fine.

Fourteen of those named in today's indictment were arrested this morning in various locations around Boston. One defendant, SEXTERI, is in state custody on related state drug charges. Another defendant, CLEMENTE, was arrested today in Puerto Rico. Four other defendants are believed to currently be in Colombia: GALVIS-GARCIA, PALACIOS-VALENCIA, VALENCIA-GALVEZ, and VALENCIA. One remaining defendant believed to be in the Boston, area, RESTREPO, has not yet been apprehended.

Press Contact: Anthony J. Pettigrew, (617)557-2138

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