Colombian Drug Kingpin Pleads Guilty to Running a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Agrees to Pay $20 Million in Forfeiture
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Roman Narvaez Ansazoy was a Leader of a Drug Trafficking Organization Responsible for Producing Multi-Ton Quantities of Cocaine Destined for the United States
Roman Narvaez Ansazoy, the founder and principal leader of an international drug trafficking enterprise based in Colombia, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Brooklyn to leading a continuing criminal enterprise as charged in a superseding indictment. When sentenced, Narvaez will face a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison and up to life in prison. As part of the plea agreement, Narvaez also agreed to pay a $20 million forfeiture money judgment. The proceeding was held before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy.
Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Kevin P. Bruen, Acting Superintendent, New York State Police (NYSP), announced the guilty plea.
“With today’s guilty plea, the defendant will face significant punishment for the incalculable harm caused by poisoning our country with huge quantities of cocaine produced by his drug trafficking organization, while amassing substantial illicit wealth for himself,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko. “The United States is committed to cooperating with our international partners to dismantle illicit organizations like the Narvaez drug trafficking organization.” Mr. Lesko extended his grateful appreciation to the DEA’s offices in Bogota, the United States Marshals Service, the United States Department of State, the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the Colombian National Police, and the Government of Colombia.
“Ansazoy was admittedly a multi-ton supplier of cocaine with ties to narco-terrorist organizations. His arrest and plea are another victory for the Rule of Law and the victims of drug abuse, misuse, and overdoses. I applaud our global, state, local, and federal partners whose work resulted in today’s announcement,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Donovan.
“I commend the dedicated teamwork of the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force which was instrumental in the takedown of this dangerous drug trafficker and bringing him to justice. This partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement continues to prevent dangerous narcotics making their way into our communities and helping to remove the violent criminals who profit at the expense of our communities. We are committed to working together with our law enforcement partners to keep these harmful narcotics off our streets and our neighborhoods safe,” stated NYSP Acting Superintendent Bruen.
As set forth in the superseding indictment and court filings, the drug trafficking organization led by Narvaez was responsible for producing multi-ton quantities of cocaine, on a monthly basis, in jungle laboratories in the Cauca region of Colombia. At its peak, the Narvaez drug trafficking organization was one of the top producers of cocaine in Colombia. After producing the cocaine, members of the Narvaez drug trafficking organization transported the cocaine to Colombian ports on the Pacific Ocean so that it could be exported from Colombia by sea. In transporting the cocaine from the jungle areas of Cauca to port cities, members and associates of the Narvaez drug trafficking organization paid money to paramilitary groups that controlled these areas in exchange for safe passage. One of the paramilitary groups that the Narvaez drug trafficking organization paid was the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (“FARC”), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The vast majority of the cocaine that the Narvaez drug trafficking organization delivered was destined for the United States.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level money launderers and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Francisco J. Navarro and Gillian A. Kassner are in charge of the prosecution.
ROMAN NARVAEZ ANSAZOY
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-CR-048 (S-1) (BMC)
United States Attorney’s Office
Updated May 12, 2021