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Press Release

Dominican Drug Lord extradited to the United States from the Dominican Republic to Face Drug Trafficking Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –Dominican authorities extradited Consolidated Priority Organizational Target (CPOT) Julio De Los Santos-Bautista, also known as “Julito Kilo,” to the United States to face drug trafficking charges filed in the District of Puerto Rico. 

“This successful extradition demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice to support our law enforcement partner agencies and our strong working relationship with dedicated foreign partners who assist in apprehending drug trafficking criminals wherever they may be hiding,” said U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow.  “We will continue to maximize our multi-agency efforts to bring to justice those who disregard our laws and smuggle drugs into Puerto Rico and the continental United States.” 

Julio De Los Santos-Bautista was the leader of a transnational criminal organization (TCO) based in the Dominican Republic. This TCO received multi-ton shipments of cocaine from South America through the Dominican Republic and then transported these to Puerto Rico and the continental United States.

On July 14, 2021, a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a superseding indictment against De Los Santos-Bautista charging him with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine for the Purpose of Unlawful Importation, Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, and Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine on Board a Vessel Subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States. The Indictment includes a narcotics forfeiture allegation of $25,000,000.

The investigation, Operation El Patron, was jointly conducted with the collaboration of CCSF partner agencies: Coast Guard Investigative Services (CGIS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Attorney General designated De Los Santos-Bautista as an OCDETF Consolidated Priority Organizational Target (CPOT) in 2020.  The Attorney General’s (AG) Interagency CPOT list is comprised of leaders who exercise “command and control” of the elements of the most prolific drug trafficking/money laundering organizations that have the greatest impact on the United States’ illicit drug supply.  The CPOT list represents the “most wanted” of the cartel leadership and ensures that the full capabilities of the U.S. government are focused, in a coordinated and clear manner, on a group of agreed-upon high-level targets.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of De Los Santos-Bautista from the Dominican Republic. The Department of Justice also recognizes the significant collaboration provided by authorities in the Dominican Republic.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Max J. Pérez-Bouret, Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Bonhomme, Deputy Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section.

If convicted, De Los Santos-Bautista faces a possible minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison for all the drug trafficking charges.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. The specific mission of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle large scale international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations importing and further transshipping cocaine, as well as money laundering activities.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated August 25, 2022

Drug Trafficking