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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Leader Of Mexican Narcotics Trafficking Organization Extradited To The United States To Face International Narcotics Importation And Distribution Conspiracy Charges

Defendant’s Organization Allegedly Transported Multi-Ton Quantities Of Cocaine From Central America To Mexican Drug Cartels For Importation Into The United States

Juan Juarez Orosco, also known as “El Abuelo,” the alleged leader of a Mexican narcotics trafficking organization responsible for trafficking multi-ton quantities of cocaine, was extradited to the United States from Panama on November 8, 2013, and was arraigned on November 10, 2013, before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

The extradition was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Mythili Raman, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; New York Division; and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

According to charges in an indictment returned in the Eastern District of New York, from the early 1990’s until his arrest in March 2012, Juarez led a large-scale maritime and land transportation operation responsible for trafficking multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Central America, through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the coast of Mexico.  Once the cocaine arrived in Mexico, Juarez and his co-conspirators transported the tons of cocaine from the coast of Mexico to Mexico City, where they were shipped to the United States for distribution.  Throughout the 2000s, Juarez worked with major narcotics traffickers based in Colombia and Mexico, including the Norte Valle Cartel, the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, and the Sinaloa Cartel.  According to court filings, through the mid-2000’s, Juarez’s organization was responsible for transporting over 35,000 kilograms of cocaine for the Beltran-Leyva organization alone.  At the height of its activity, Juarez’s organization was allegedly responsible for transporting approximately eight tons of cocaine a month in conjunction with the Sinaloa Cartel.

“There is no escape from the reach of the law, no matter where drug kingpins operate their poisonous trade.  Juan Juarez Orosco may have operated an international drug trafficking network that stretched across the Western Hemisphere, but today he faces justice in a courtroom in Brooklyn,” stated United States Attorney Lynch.  “Thanks to our law enforcement partners in Panama, today’s extradition also shows that there is no safe haven for drug traffickers on the run.”  Ms. Lynch extended her appreciation to the DEA, HSI, and the Office of International Affairs of the U.S. Department of Justice.

“As alleged in the indictment, Juarez’s trafficking organization was responsible for the importation of massive quantities of cocaine, across oceans and continents, into the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “Juarez’s arrest and extradition are a testament to the tenacity of law enforcement officers across the world, and show that what we can accomplish when we work together with our partners around the globe to capture major drug traffickers and bring them to justice.”

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gina M. Parlovecchio and Tiana Demas, and Trial Attorney Adrian Rosales of the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Defendant

Age:  64
Mexico City, Mexico

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 12-CR-197

Updated July 2, 2015