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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

FARC Members And Associates Charged With Conspiring To Import Cocaine Into The United States

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Jesse Garcia, Assistant Andean Regional Director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced today that four members and associates of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (the “FARC”)—SEUXIS PAUCIS HERNANDEZ-SOLARTE, a/k/a “Jesus Santrich,” MARLON MARIN, ARMANDO GOMEZ, a/k/a “El Doctor,” and FABIO SIMON YOUNES ARBOLEDA—were arrested yesterday in Colombia for conspiring and attempting to import cocaine into the United States.  The United States is seeking the defendants’ extradition from Colombia. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, these defendants conspired to ship thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to the streets of the U.S.  Thanks to the investigative work of the DEA, they are now under arrest and face significant criminal charges.”

Assistant Regional Director Jesse Garcia said:  “This significant enforcement operation demonstrates that there remains within the Government of Colombia willing partners, determined to support the United States and DEA’s counter drug mission in Colombia, who are also willing to pursue justice no matter where the investigations lead.  This investigation was heavily supported by DEA’s Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU) program and Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed in federal court:[1]

From June 2017 up to April 2018, HERNANDEZ-SOLARTE, MARIN, GOMEZ, and YOUNES ARBOLEDA worked together to produce and distribute approximately 10,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to the United States and elsewhere.  During this time, the defendants were members and associates of the FARC.  HERNANDEZ-SOLARTE was a high-ranking member of the FARC leadership and a candidate to be seated in Colombia’s House of Representatives.  During the course of their cocaine trafficking, HERNANDEZ-SOLARTE, MARIN, GOMEZ, and YOUNES ARBOLEDA represented that they had access to laboratories to supply the cocaine and to U.S.-registered airplanes to transport the drugs within and through Colombia.  The defendants also supplied kilograms of cocaine to others as, among other things, a demonstration of their access to ton quantities of cocaine. 

*          *          *

The Indictment charges HERNANDEZ-SOLARTE, 51, MARIN, 39, GOMEZ, 70, and YOUNES ARBOLEDA, 72, all of Colombia, with one count of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, and two counts of attempting to import cocaine into the United States.  If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison on each count. 

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding efforts of the DEA’s Sensitive Investigation Unit, Bogota Country Office, and Miami Field Office, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.  He also thanked the Criminal Division’s Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section Judicial Attaches in Colombia, who provided substantial assistance. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Laroche and Jason A. Richman are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The potential mandatory minimum and maximum sentence in this case are prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
18-112
Updated April 10, 2018