News and Press Releases

SIX MEMBERS OF THE RODRIGUEZ-OREJUELA FAMILY INDICTED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, and Daniel W. Auer, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, announced today a two (2) count Indictment charging defendants Jaime Rodriguez-Mondragon, Humberto Rodriguez-Mondragon, Maria Alexandra Rodriguez-Mondragon, Amparo Rodriguez-Orejuela, a/k/a “Amparo Rodriguez de Gil", Angela Maria Gil-Rodriguez, and Ana Maria Gil-Rodriguez, with conspiring to impede the lawful functions of the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice regarding their investigation into assets owned or controlled by defendants Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. The defendants are also charged with making false statements to U.S. authorities regarding these assets, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

This Indictment is a result of Operation Cornerstone, which targeted the infamous Cali Cartel. At its peak in the 1980's and 1990's, the Cali Cartel was responsible for distribution of a majority of the world’s supply of cocaine. As a result of Operation Cornerstone, the leaders of the Cali Cartel, Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela, were indicted and convicted in the Southern District of Florida.

The Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers pled guilty in September 2006 and are currently serving lengthy prison sentences in the U.S. As part of the plea agreement, the U.S. obtained a forfeiture judgement of $2.1 billion against the brothers, representing the proceeds of the Rodriguez-Orejuela’s narcotics trafficking operation. As well, as part of the plea agreement, defendants Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela agreed to disclose to the U.S. all assets owned or controlled by, for, or on their behalf and/or a member of their family, even if the asset was not derived from illicit sources, and agreed to assist in the forfeiture of property. In exchange, the U.S. agreed to remove the defendants from the Department of Treasury’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, which is a list of persons subject to financial sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In addition, the U.S. agreed not to prosecute defendants Jaime Rodriguez-Mondragon, Humberto Rodriguez-Mondragon, and Maria Alexandra Rodriguez-Mondragon for money laundering offenses.

Today’s Indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to omit assets from the lists of assets provided to the U.S. and instead, continued to enjoy and benefit from hidden assets even after signing the agreement. All defendants charged today are family members of Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela.

U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman stated, “Some cases never really go away, but sprout long and twisted tentacles. Today, we see the results of one family’s continued disregard for the law. You cannot make an agreement, break it, and expect to walk away.”

“These defendants are not just family members of the infamous drug trafficking Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers; they are conspirators,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. “They will be held accountable for violating their agreement with the U.S. Government.”

“Today’s indictment is a result of the ongoing ICE and DEA investigation initiated in 1991, targeting the Cali Cartel and identifying the Cali Cartel leaders’ families’ assets that were obtained through their illicit activities,” said Anthony Mangione, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami. “This is yet another example of how ICE will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to disrupt the flow of drugs, bring criminals to justice, and dismantle criminal networks that profit from narcotics trafficking.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Auer stated, “We are pleased to have lent our financial investigative expertise to this investigation. This case is but another example of the successes that occur when law enforcement agencies combine resources to trace assets and deprive drug trafficking organizations of their illicit profits."

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of DEA, ICE’s Office of Investigations, and the IRS. Mr. Sloman also noted the cooperative efforts of the Colombian authorities and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Morales.

An Indictment is only an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of five (5) years' imprisonment on each count.

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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.

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