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Colombian Paramilitary Leader Extradited to the United States to Face U.S. Drug Charges

WASHINGTON –Carlos Mario Jimenez-Naranjo, a.k.a. Macaco, has been extradited from Colombia to the United States to face drug trafficking charges, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher announced today. Jimenez-Naranjo faces drug-related charges in the District of Columbia and the Southern District of Florida. Jimenez-Naranjo made his initial appearance today in the District of Columbia before Judge Alan Kay.

Jimenez-Naranjo was indicted in the District of Columbia for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, with intent to import cocaine into the United States, and with engaging in drug trafficking with the intent to provide something of pecuniary value to a terrorist organization (narco-terrorism). The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation. If convicted, Jimenez-Naranjo faces a minimum prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. Pursuant to the extradition request, however, the United States has provided assurances to the government of Colombia that it will not seek a life sentence, but instead will ask for a prison term. The defendant is also charged in the Southern District of Florida in a 20 count indictment with conspiracy to import cocaine, money laundering offenses and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine on board a vessel subject to United States jurisdiction. Jimenez-Naranjo will first face trial on the charges in the District of Columbia.

Before his arrest, Jimenez-Naranjo was allegedly one of the top leaders of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), a Colombian right-wing paramilitary and drug-trafficking organization. The AUC is a U.S. Department of State-designated foreign terrorist organization. According to the indictment, Jimenez-Naranjo led the Bloque Central Bolivar, a group within the AUC, commanding an estimated 7,000 armed combatants. Jimenez-Naranjo controlled large areas where cocaine was produced, and his organization was responsible for exporting thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Central America, Mexico and the United States. In August 2007, Jimenez-Naranjo was served with a provisional arrest warrant based on the indictment in the District of Columbia.

An indictment is a formal charging document notifying the defendant of his charges. All persons charged via an indictment are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The charges in the District of Columbia will be prosecuted by attorneys assigned to the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS). The charges in the Southern District of Florida will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The investigation in this case was led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with investigatory assistance from FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Southern District of Florida case. The extradition of Jimenez-Naranjo resulted from the cooperative efforts of the government of Colombia and the Criminal Division's NDDS and Office of International Affairs Sections.