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Press Release

Leader of Guatemalan Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Life in Prison

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Earlier today, a Guatemalan national was sentenced to life in prison following a March 2016 trial that resulted in a conviction for his participation in an international drug trafficking conspiracy.  He was responsible for the distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine for illegal importation into the United States. 


Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Operations Division made the announcement. 


Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


“Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon was a drug kingpin whose criminal organization had close ties to the violent Sinaloa Cartel and was responsible for transporting massive amounts of cocaine to be sold on our streets,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan.  “Lorenzana-Cordon’s life sentence sends a powerful message to leaders of drug trafficking organizations that, if they send their poison to our country, the United States and our international partners will work tirelessly to bring them to justice, no matter where in the world they may reside.  I thank the dedicated prosecutors of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and law enforcement officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bilateral Investigations Group for their outstanding work on this important case.”


“One of the world’s most influential drug traffickers now faces American justice and DEA is pleased he will never be in business again,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Donovan. “Lorenzana-Cordon imported huge amounts of cocaine to the United States for over a decade, helping fuel our nation’s drug epidemic. He conspired with some of the most brutal and destructive drug networks in history, facilitating and coordinating huge shipments for the Sinaloa Cartel, among others. DEA’s work will always focus on these types of investigations: attacking the most powerful, influential global criminal networks and their many facilitators and associates.”


The defendant was convicted on one count of conspiring to unlawfully distribute cocaine for illegal importation into the United States.  As proven at trial, the defendant along with his brother, co-defendant Eliu Lorenzana-Cordon, led an international drug trafficking organization with close ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.  Between 1996 and 2009, the defendant and his co-conspirators received, stored, and distributed multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia at their properties in Zacapa, Guatemala, for importation into Mexico and then ultimately into the United States. In February, Eliu Lorenzana-Cordon was sentenced to life in prison following a March 2016 trial resulting in a conviction.


On April 27, 2010, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control designated the defendant and his brother, Eliu Lorenzana-Cordon, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act due to their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking and their ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.


The DEA’s Special Operations Division’s Bilateral Investigations Unit and Guatemala City Country Office led the investigation, which was supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the Chicago Police Department and the governments of El Salvador and Panama provided support and assistance.  Finally, and in particular, the Justice Department wishes to convey its gratitude to the government of Guatemala for its steadfast commitment, collaboration and assistance in the investigation, extradition, and prosecution of this case.


Assistant Deputy Chief Michael Lang and Trial Attorney Emily Cohen of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section are prosecuting the case. 

Updated May 10, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 18-614