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Press Release

Colombian Cocaine Trafficker Pleads Guilty for Role in 490-Kilogram Seizure

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Colombian national pleaded guilty today to his involvement in trafficking 490 kilograms of cocaine bound for the United States from Colombia.

According to court documents, Marco Antonio Robayo Barbosa, 64, was a cocaine trafficker who worked with brokers to coordinate multi-hundred kilogram shipments of cocaine from sources in Colombia to destinations around the world. Robayo Barbosa’s sources of supply included cocaine “laboratories” controlled by members of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (also known as the “FARC”), a group designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Robayo Barbosa was personally involved in the distribution of approximately 490 kilograms of cocaine, which the DEA seized in Costa Rica in October 2013, and which Robayo Barbosa intended to be smuggled into the United States.

Robayo Barbosa pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine for the purpose of importation into the United States and faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison when sentenced on August 24. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh and Trial Attorney Michael Waits of the Narcotic & Dangerous Drug Section are prosecuting the case.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Perdition. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-cr-168.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated May 22, 2018

Drug Trafficking