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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 19, 2021

Colombian National Extradited From Costa Rica To Face Drug Charges In The United States

Tampa, Florida – Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces the unsealing of a 2019 indictment charging Piero Antonio Lubo-Barros, a/k/a “Nostradamus,” (41, Colombia, South America) with conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine knowing and intending it to be imported into the United States. If convicted on all counts, Piero Antonio Lubo-Barros faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. 

According to court documents, beginning in approximately September of 2017, and continuing through 2019, Lubo-Barros organized a transnational criminal conspiracy that transported cocaine from Colombia to the United States, including Texas, California, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida.

In April 2018, an indictment was returned in the Middle District of Florida charging Piero Antonio Lubo-Barros, and his co-conspirator, Gerardo Gomez-Lubo, with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. In January 2021, Lubo-Barros, who was living under an assumed identity, was arrested in Costa Rica.

Gerardo Gomez-Lubo was extradited from Panama to the United States in March 2021. 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, a standing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force comprised of agents and analysts from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Interagency Task Force South. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division and Costa Rican authorities provided significant support with the defendant’s extradition. The U.S. Marshals Service also provided critical assistance by extraditing Lubo-Barros from Costa Rica to the Middle District of Florida.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. 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 www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated November 19, 2021