COLOMBIAN NARCO-TRAFFICKER EXTRADITED TO FACE FEDERAL DRUG AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the December 12, 2011 extradition from Colombia to the United States of defendant Ramon Quintero Sanclemente, a Colombian national, on drug charges in the Southern District of Florida. He had been in custody awaiting extradition since his arrest in April 2010.
Quintero Sanclemente made his initial appearance in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale earlier today. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2011 at 11 a.m. He is charged with conspiracy to import five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States from 1998 through December 4, 2008. He is also charged with importing five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States in both January 2004 and March 2004, and with attempting to import five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States in September 2005. In addition to the narcotics charges, Quintero Sanclemente is charged with conspiracy to launder drug proceeds.
If convicted, Quintero Sanclemente faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison on each of the drug trafficking charges. The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
According to numerous press accounts in Colombia and elsewhere, Quintero Sanclemente was a former top lieutenant in the North Valley Cartel and, at the time of his capture, his drug trafficking organization was allegedly responsible for obtaining more than 50 metric tons of cocaine annually for export to Mexico, Europe and the United States. On January 14, 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Quintero Sanclemente as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNT).
“The extradition of Quintero Sanclemente to South Florida is the result of the close working relationship between United States and Colombian law enforcement authorities,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. “Federal prosecutors and agents in South Florida remain deeply committed to eradicating the Colombian drug cartels and shutting off the supply of cocaine reaching our borders from abroad.”
“The extradition of high level leaders of international drug trafficking organizations is often the result of DEA’s most complex investigations and the strong partnerships we have with our international law enforcement partners,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville.
The indictment of Quintero Sanclemente is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation led by DEA. 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 outstanding investigative efforts of DEA and their Colombian law enforcement partners. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fels.
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.