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Press Release

Alleged Drug Trafficker Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan Extradited from Colombia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 26, 2024

SAN DIEGO – Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan, aka Gato, an Ecuadorian national and alleged drug trafficker, made his first appearance in federal court today following his extradition to the United States from Colombia yesterday.

At the hearing, Sanchez Farfan entered a not guilty plea. U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major ordered him detained pending trial. The next hearing is scheduled for March 4, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

On October 30, 2019, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California returned an indictment charging Sanchez Farfan with participating in a transnational conspiracy to traffic substantial quantities of cocaine from Colombia, through Ecuador, and into the United States. Sanchez Farfan’s organization is alleged to have been a major source of supply for the Sinaloa Cartel and the New Generation Jalisco Cartel in Mexico.

Sanchez Farfan was apprehended by Colombian authorities at the request of the United States in February 2023 while traveling in Colombia.

“We thank Colombian and Ecuadorian law enforcement authorities for their significant assistance,” said U.S. Attorney Tara K. McGrath.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section’s Judicial Attaché’s office at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota provided critical assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Sanchez Farfan.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyle Martin and Ashley Goff.

DEFENDANT                                               Case 19cr1610-GPC                        

Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan                       Age: 43                                   Ecuador


International Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances– Title 18, U.S.C., Section 959, 960, and 963

Maximum penalty: Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison


Drug Enforcement Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations

U.S. Marshals Service

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or   

Updated January 26, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS24-0126-Sanchez