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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Extradited Colombian drug trafficker arrives in California

A Colombian man accused of playing a significant role in a major cocaine trafficking operation will face federal charges in Los Angeles. Upon his arrival to the United States, a U.S. attorney expressed gratitude for the cooperation of the Colombian government when arranging the extradition of the alleged drug kingpin.

According to federal investigators, he managed an extensive distribution network that moved large quantities of cocaine from South America to Mexico and then into the United States. During the three-year investigation of the criminal activities, law enforcement agents seized roughly 7,700 pounds of cocaine linked to the man. Prosecutors valued the drugs at $500 million.

Agents also arrested seven other people allegedly engaged in the drug trafficking organization. According to a 22-count indictment against the co-conspirators of the Colombian man, the people transported tons of cocaine with airplanes, boats and even submarines to Mexico. A variety of methods were employed to get the drugs across the U.S. border. The Colombian man could go to prison for life if he is convicted of participating in an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Penalties for drug crimes, especially at the federal level, tend to be harsh. A person accused of drug manufacturing or drug distribution might gain important insights about the case by consulting an attorney. An attorney could describe the meaning of charges and propose defense strategies. If evidence came from an unlawful search and seizure, an attorney could potentially weaken the prosecution's case by requesting the removal of illegitimate evidence. Legal advice could also help a person make the choice between standing trial or seeking a plea bargain.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Colombian Drug Ring Kingpin Extradited to Los Angeles", Sept. 14, 2018

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