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Press Release

Colombian Woman Sentenced to 10 Years and $5 Million Forfeiture for Narcotrafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Brokered Multi-Hundred-Kilogram Shipments of Cocaine

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Hilda Maria Gonzalez Lopez, also known as “La Boyaca” and “Daniela,” who aligned herself with powerful members of Los Rastrojos, a breakoff group of the violent arm of the Norte Valle Cartel, was sentenced by United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $5 million in forfeiture following her guilty plea for participating in a conspiracy to internationally distribute cocaine. In her October 2021 plea agreement, Gonzalez Lopez stipulated that she was responsible for distributing more than 450 kilograms of cocaine and agreed to forfeit $5,000,000. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Ricky J. Patel, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI), and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), announced the sentence.

“For years, the defendant profited from trafficking cocaine and operating a ‘collection office,’ which relied on hitmen to collect drug debts, and she did so without regard for the harm she inflicted on communities stretching from Colombia to the United States,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace.  “Today’s sentencing demonstrates the results of the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to working with our international partners to dismantle destructive transcontinental drug trafficking organizations.” 

Mr. Peace extended his appreciation to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), New York State Police (NYSP), Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, Colombian law enforcement authorities, and the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS) Judicial Attachés in Bogotá, Colombia who assisted in the apprehension and extradition of the defendant.

“Gonzalez Lopez was at the helm of a narcotrafficking operation who arranged cocaine shipments, negotiated ‘taxes’ with other narcotraffickers, and employed hitmen to collect debts.  Today’s sentencing helps to ensure this lucrative and violent organization saw their final delivery – justice,” said HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Patel.  “HSI and our partners will continue to leverage our international reach to aggressively pursue drug traffickers wherever they operate.”

“Using intimidation and fear, Hilda Maria Gonzalez Lopez made millions of dollars exporting loads of cocaine from Colombia to the United States,” said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Tarentino.  “The DEA leaves no stone unturned, and this arrest signifies our resolve to bring those responsible for flooding our streets with poison to justice.  I commend the diligent work by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York and our local, state, federal, and international law enforcement partners.” 

Los Rastrojos

In approximately the early 1990’s, a group of narcotics traffickers based in the Norte Valle del Cauca region of Colombia, located near Colombia’s west coast, began to dominate the cocaine trade in Colombia, and became known as the “Norte Valle Cartel.”  Between 1990 and 2006, the Norte Valle Cartel was responsible for the exportation to the United States of more than one million kilograms of cocaine with a wholesale value exceeding several billion dollars.

In the early 2000s, high-ranking members of the Norte Valle Cartel’s armed contingent—which was responsible for assassinations, kidnappings, and the collection of drug debts through violence or the threat of violence—broke off to form Los Rastrojos. After 2008, Javier Antonio Calle Serna (Calle Serna) took control of the organization.  Under his leadership, Los Rastrojos acted as a paramilitary group with over 1,500 members and took control of several provinces of Colombia.   In those areas, Los Rastrojos corrupted government officials, sanctioned violence, and “taxed” drug traffickers who operated in the cartel’s territory.  

The Defendant’s Conduct

Between 2005 and 2011, according to court filings, Gonzalez Lopez was directly involved in coordinating the shipment and distribution of cocaine and leveraged her relationship with powerful and violent narcotraffickers, including Calle Serna.  Gonzalez Lopez began brokering her own multi-hundred-kilogram shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and Central America for ultimate distribution in the United States.

Gonzalez Lopez coordinated drug transportation routes and paid export “taxes” to the Los Rastrojos.  She also used her relationship with Calle Serna to negotiate lower export taxes and maintain control of a drug debt collection operation in which she employed collectors or hitmen to collect drug debts, for which she received a percentage of the recovered debt as compensation. 

During these six years, Gonzalez Lopez was personally responsible for at least 450 kilograms of cocaine, which yielded her profits of at least $5,000,000. 

On July 12, 2019, the defendant was arrested in Colombia at the request of the United States and was extradited to the United States on March 5, 2021.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at  

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Nomi Berenson and Robert M. Pollack are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

HILDA MARIA GONZALEZ LOPEZ (also known as “La Boyaca” and “Daniela”)
Age:  47
Boyaca, Colombia

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-379 (ILG)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated July 6, 2022

Drug Trafficking