News and Press Releases

Joint United States and Colombia Initiative Dismantles International Drug Organization

May 04, 2005

Colombian National Police Officer Charged with Aiding Drug Traffickers

ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York, today announced the extradition of NORA AMPERE JAIMES-RODRIGUEZ, a sergeant in the Colombian National Police who used her official position to facilitate the transportation of narcotics from Colombia to the United States, on an indictment charging her and co-defendants LUIS FELIPE VALDES-LEON and GUSTAVO FOURLON with conspiring to import heroin into the United States. VALDES-LEON and FOURLON are also charged with the substantive offense of importing heroin into the United States, and VALDES-LEON is charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.1

JAIMES-RODRIGUEZ's extradition follows a 16-month coordinated investigation of an international heroin trafficking enterprise - the Valdes-Leon Organization - conducted under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The extradition of JAIMES-RODRIGUEZ is the first extradition of a Colombian National Police officer on charges of using her official position to facilitate narcotics trafficking.

JAIMES-RODRIGUEZ will be arraigned later this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy, at the U. S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Nina Gershon. VALDES-LEON and FOURLORN were previously arraigned and have been ordered detained.

According to the indictment and other publicly-filed documents, the drug trafficking organization was headed by VALDES-LEON, also known as "El Mono," and allegedly imported between five and ten kilograms of heroin per month into the New York metropolitan area between May 2002 and January 2003. VALDES-LEON was extradited to the United States from Colombia in December 2004. FOURLORN, also known as "Tavo," is charged with being responsible for providing heroin to the organization's couriers and for transporting the couriers to the airport for their international flights. Colombian authorities extradited FOURLORN to the United States in April 2005. JAIMES-RODRIGUEZ was stationed at Cali International Airport and assisted the Organization by ensuring that its drug couriers cleared Colombian customs prior to boarding flights bound for the United States.

To date, law enforcement agents have made five separate seizures of the organization's drugs at United States airports, totaling more than three kilograms of heroin. As part of this continuing investigation, since January 2003, law enforcement agents have arrested six other members of the Valdes-Leon Organization, and each has pled guilty to drug trafficking charges in the Eastern District of New York.

"This extremely successful investigation is the product of the close cooperation between American and Colombian law enforcement authorities," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "The message to drug traffickers is clear. You cannot escape justice by operating across international boundaries - together with our law enforcement counterparts abroad, we will dismantle your organizations." Ms. MAUSKOPF thanked the New York office of U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for its assistance and stated that the investigation is continuing.

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge GILBRIDE stated, "The extradition today demonstrates the power of law enforcement to reach beyond national borders. By sharing intelligence, both domestically and internationally, the DEA will continue to cooperate with its foreign law enforcement partners to decimate drug trafficking organizations at their source."

The statutory maximum sentence that could be imposed upon conviction of the charged offenses is life imprisonment and a $4 million fine. However, pursuant to its extradition commitments with Colombia, the United States has given assurance that sentences of life imprisonment will not be imposed.

The government's case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Klugman and Monica Ryan.

The Defendants:

DOB: January 17, 1962
Residence: Cali, Colombia

Name: LUIS FELIPE VALDES-LEON, also known as “El Mono”
DOB: August 23, 1979
Residence: Cali, Colombia

Name: GUSTAVO FOURLON, also known as "Tavo"
DOB: January 6, 1983
Residence: Cali, Colombia



1 The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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