News and Press Releases

Colombian Drug Trafficker Convicted of International Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

April 5, 2011

Carlos Arturo PatiƱo Restrepo Shipped Multi-Ton Quantities of Cocaine to U.S.

Following two weeks of trial, a federal jury in Central Islip, New York, today returned a verdict convicting Colombian drug trafficker Carlos Arturo Patiño Restrepo, also known as “Patemuro,” of three counts of conspiracy to violate United States drug laws – possession with intent to distribute, importation, and international cocaine distribution.

The conviction was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.

At trial, the government proved that Patiño, operating in conjunction with the Norte Valle Drug Cartel, orchestrated multi-ton cocaine shipments of cocaine to the United States throughout the 1990’s, until shortly before his arrest in Colombia in 2007. The government presented testimony from 13 of defendant Patiño’s co-conspirators and established that Patiño controlled the area near Viterbo, Colombia, through bribes to Colombian police and ties to paramilitary groups.

“This case should serve as a warning to narcotics traffickers who export drugs to the United States that they will be brought to justice,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation ICE/HSI, which led the government’s investigation.

When sentenced by United States District Judge Leonard D. Wexler, the defendant faces a minimum of 10 years, and a maximum of life, imprisonment.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Allen L. Bode and Raymond A. Tierney.

The Defendant:

Age: 46

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