Alleged International Narcotics Trafficker Extradited from Honduras on Cocaine Distribution 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, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the extradition of Honduran citizen Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, a/k/a “Negro,” 39, from Honduras to the United States to face charges in the Southern District of Florida involving conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Carlos Arnoldo Lobo arrived in the Southern District of Florida on May 8, 2014 and will make his initial appearance today at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes.
The charges announced today are the result of a multi-agency investigation that began in December 2009 into the drug smuggling activities operating near La Ceiba, Honduras. To date, the investigation has resulted in the indictment and conviction of numerous drug traffickers who worked for Carlos Arnoldo Lobo coordinating the smuggling of cocaine onto vessels for shipment from Panama to Honduras, then into Guatemala and beyond, including Mexico, and ultimately the United States, and working on the vessels for Carlos Arnoldo Lobo. The superseding indictment charges Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, a/k/a “Negro,” with conspiring to distribute cocaine, knowing that the cocaine would be imported into the United States, and conspiring to distribute cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
The investigation revealed that Carlos Arnoldo Lobo allegedly owned and operated several dozen vessels off the eastern coast of Honduras which he outfitted to smuggle drugs, and used the vessels to transport drugs, primarily cocaine. The drugs were shipped from Colombia and Panama to Honduras, then into Guatemala and beyond, including Mexico, and ultimately the United States. Carlos Arnoldo Lobo allegedly controlled drug shipments into and out of the eastern coast of Honduras.
The conspiracy allegedly involved the distribution of more than 450 kilograms of cocaine.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The arrest and extradition of Carlos Arnoldo Lobo is the direct result of strong international cooperation with Honduran authorities. It also reflects the hard work, commitment, and perseverance of our Honduran and U.S. law enforcement partners to stem the flow of cocaine into the United States. Lobo was extradited from Honduras for his alleged involvement in the distribution of hundreds of kilos of cocaine, knowing that the cocaine would be imported into the United States. Now that Lobo has been extradited, he will stand trial in the United States for the serious crimes for which he is charged.”
“The arrest of Lobo is a significant victory. Lobo’s arrest and extradition to the U.S. has led to the dismantling of an egregious trafficking organization,” said Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Miami. “This case highlights the effective collaboration between HSI, DEA and our international law enforcement partners.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “The DEA appreciates the cooperation of the Honduran law enforcement authorities in the arrest and extradition of Carlos Lobo. The DEA remains committed to working with our international counterparts to bring in the most significant drug traffickers to face justice for their crimes.”
The indictment of Carlos Arnoldo Lobo is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation led by HSI in conjunction with the DEA Miami Field Division. 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 commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI and DEA. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, the ICE-HSI Attaché’s Office in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and the DEA Attaché’s in Tegucigalpa, Honduras provided significant assistance and support during the arrest and extradition of the defendants. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt K. Lunkenheimer.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.