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Press Release

Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced for International Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A leader of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization was sentenced last week to 33 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $27 million for charges related to international drug trafficking.

According to court documents, beginning in or about 2008 and continuing to at least 2019, Marta Julia Lorenzana-Cordon, 47, from Zacapa, Guatemala, was a leader of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization, one of the largest and most influential drug cartels in Guatemala, which was comprised primarily of family members. The organization transports tonnage quantities of cocaine from Colombia into Guatemala, where the cocaine is inventoried and stored on properties owned by the organization throughout Guatemala. Once processed, the organization works with the Sinaloa Cartel, among other organizations, to traffic cocaine into Mexico, through Central America, and eventually, into the United States.

Lorenzana-Cordon was extradited in December 2021 to the United States from Guatemala. She pleaded guilty on May 2, 2023, to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it would be unlawfully imported to the United States.  

Between 1996 continuing through 2019, the organization coordinated the transportation, storage, and distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Central America and Mexico, for eventual distribution into the United States. Lorenzana-Cordon’s siblings, Eliu Elixander Lorenzana-Cordon, 53, and Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, 59, were convicted in March 2019 on international narcotics trafficking charges in the District of Columbia and sentenced to life in prison. Lorenzana-Cordon’s father, Waldemar Lorenzana-Lima Sr., who has since passed away, pleaded guilty in August 2014 to international narcotics trafficking charges in the District of Columbia and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made the announcement.

This investigation is part of “Operation Slipknot,” which is supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). The DEA’s 959/Bilateral Investigations Unit is investigating the case, with assistance from the DEA Guatemala City Country Office. The Justice Department thanks the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for their support and contributions to the case.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of the defendants. The department appreciates the assistance provided by the government of Guatemala.

Trial Attorneys Imani Hutty and Douglas Meisel of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section prosecuted the case.

Updated March 14, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-294