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Press Release

Colombian National Extradited from Colombia to the United States to Face Charges of Murder Conspiracy and Attempted Murder of U.S. Army Soldiers

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

MIAMI – On March 7, Ciro Alfonso Gutierrez Ballesteros, 32, made his initial appearance in federal court in Miami. Gutierrez Ballesteros was extradited from Colombia to the United States to face federal charges lodged against him in a federal indictment returned in 2022 by a Miami federal grand jury.  Gutierrez Ballesteros was indicted for charges that include conspiring to murder members of the United States Uniformed Services and attempted murder of members of the United States Uniformed Services.

According to the indictment, Gutierrez Ballesteros, in concert with other co-conspirators, planned a bombing attack against U.S. Army soldiers present at the Colombian 30th Army Brigade Base in Cucuta, Colombia.  Co-conspirator Andres Fernando Medina Rodriguez used his status as a medically discharged Colombian Army Officer to gain access to the base where he conducted surveillance.  As part of the surveillance, Medina Rodriguez took photographs and video of the areas where the U.S. Army soldiers were primarily located.

Gutierrez Ballesteros instructed Medina Rodriguez to find and purchase a vehicle suitable for conducting a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (“VBIED”) attack at the base.  Medina Rodriguez purchased a white SUV and Medina Rodriguez and Gutierrez Ballesteros then drove the vehicle to Venezuela where it was outfitted with the explosives.

On June 15, 2021, Medina Rodriguez drove the vehicle with the VBIED to the 30th Army Brigade Base in Cucuta, Colombia, where he parked it in front of the location where U.S. and Colombian military personnel were located. Gutierrez Ballesteros, riding a motorcycle, followed Medina Rodriguez to the Colombian military base.  Medina Rodriguez pulled the detonation pin on the explosive and left the area on foot before fleeing on the motorcycle driven by Gutierrez Ballesteros.  As a result of the detonated VBIED, three U.S. Army soldiers were injured. 

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI’s Miami Field Office announced the extradition of Gutierrez Ballesteros.

The FBI investigated the case.  The FBI was assisted by the FBI Legal Attaché in Bogotá, the Fiscalía General de la Nación Colombia, and the National Police of Colombia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy A. Hummel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy R. Camacho, and the Justice Department’s National Security Division Trial Attorneys David C. Smith and Michael Dittoe are prosecuting the case.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section’s Office of the Judicial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá worked with Colombian authorities to secure the arrest and extradition of Gutierrez Ballesteros.

An indictment contains mere allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 22-cr-20054.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated March 8, 2024

National Security