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Press Release

Colombian Man Sentenced to Nearly Five Years in Prison for Obstruction of Justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant warned Colombian drug trafficker of United States drug investigation

BOSTON – A Colombian man, who was extradited from Colombia after indictment, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for his role in three charges related to obstructing justice.

Orlando Lopez Parra, 48, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On May 12, 2022, Lopez Parra pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Since at least August 2017, Lopez Parra obtained information of an ongoing United States criminal investigation into the international drug trafficking activities Henry Carrillo-Ramirez, as well as the presence of United States Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Colombia for Carrillo-Ramirez’s arrest. Lopez Parra enlisted the aid of another individual to make contact with Carrillo-Ramirez for the purpose of arranging a meeting with him.

At a meeting on Aug. 4, 2017, Lopez Parra told Carrillo-Ramirez there were United States law enforcement officers in Colombia for his arrest and that Lopez Parra’s contacts could provide additional information to Carrillo-Ramirez to avoid arrest in exchange for payment of 500 million Colombian pesos.

Several days later, on Aug. 7, 2017, Lopez Parra met with Carrillo-Ramirez again to offer information in exchange for payment of 500 million Colombian pesos, advised him to leave his residence and reminded him how difficult it would be for his family if he were extradited to the United States.

“This case demonstrates the resources and dedication of the Department of Justice and DEA to eradicate drug trafficking and hold those accountable who obstruct investigations into these dangerous and illegal activities,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Those who interfere or impede with our investigations run the risk of getting charged criminally. So don’t.”

“The misconduct in this case is brazen and these charges make it crystal clear that the DEA is deeply committed to investigating any attempt to hinder a criminal investigation” said Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division. “DEA and their local, state and federal partners are dedicated to bringing to justice those that commit these types of crimes.”

Carrillo-Ramirez was indicted in June 2018 and extradited from Colombia in April 2019. In November 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and four counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Rollins and DEA SAC Boyle made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Colombian National Police, the Spanish Guardia Civil, and the Portuguese Air Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Estes of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated September 8, 2022