Nicaraguan National Extradited from Colombia to Face Drug Charges
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the extradition of Franklin William McField-Bent, a/k/a “Buda.” McField-Bent, 53, a Nicaraguan national, is charged in two separate indictments with four counts of narcotics charges and four counts of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. He was arrested in Barranquilla, Colombia on October 8, 2010, and has been held by Colombian authorities until his extradition on Thursday, February 23, 2012. He made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court in Miami on Friday, February 24, 2012.
According to the indictments, McField-Bent and others conspired and attempted to provide grenade launchers, grenades, automatic rifles and other weapons to what they thought were members of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (“AUC”). The AUC has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States Secretary of State since September 10, 2001. In fact, the defendants were dealing with undercover agents.
If convicted, each of the four counts of conspiring to provide material support carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The indictments also allege that McField-Bent and others conspired and attempted to distribute cocaine knowing that it would eventually be imported into the United States. McField-Bent faces a maximum life sentence on each of the four narcotics charges if convicted and a mandatory minimum ten year sentence on each count.
The extradition of McField-Bent is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) led by DEA and ICE-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 drug supply.
Mr. Ferrer commends the outstanding investigative efforts of ICE-HSI and DEA. The cases have been assigned to U.S. District Judges Joan Lenard and K. Michael Moore and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fels.
An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.