SHERMAN, Texas – U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown announced today that 13 individuals have been arrested in the Republic of Colombia and will be extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges in the Eastern District of Texas.
During the week of May 20, 2019, a combined task force of U.S. and Colombian law enforcement authorities began arresting individuals in Colombia as a result of an international Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force operation.
With just a handful of special agents from the Dallas DEA field office working these international drug cases, more Colombian drug defendants were extradited to the Eastern District of Texas in 2018 than any other federal district in the United States.
According to the indictment, beginning in 2015, the defendants conspired to import thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia and Mexico into the United States and Europe for distribution. On February 9, 2019, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas returned a 2-count indictment charging conspiracy to import cocaine and to manufacture and distribute cocaine intending and knowing that the cocaine will be unlawfully imported into the United States and manufacturing and distributing cocaine intending and knowing that the cocaine will be unlawfully imported into the United States. The Colombian nationals arrested and named in the indictment are:
KAREN MARLEDIS, 34, also known as La Negra;
FERNEY MONTES RESTREPO, 47, also known as Cucaracho;
HERNAN ANTONIO ALVAREZ CONDE, 28, also known as Ferney;
ORLEY JESUS GALLO DONADO, 36, also known as Orley;
OVIDIO ISAZA GOMEZ, 51, also known as Roque;
MARIA GEORGINA ARANGO MARIN, 46, also known as Gina;
PEDRO JOSE SIOSSI MANJARRES, 61, also known as Hitler;
HOMERO GARZON-BUSTOS, 50, also known as Anna Maria Caceres, also known as Maicol;
FELIX ALBERTO ACUNA CARMONA, 39;
JHON JAIRO AGUDELO GONZALEZ, 36;
JOSE ANEYDER ZAPPA MOLINA, 30, also known as Jose;
ROBERTO HERNANDEZ OSSA, 52, also known as Cambo; and
ALBA NERY RODRIGUEZ, 36, also known as Gaviota.
If convicted, they each face a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.
“Drug traffickers who send their drugs into the United States will not be able to avoid prosecution in the United States by hiding in Colombia or anywhere else,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown of the Eastern District of Texas. “The leadership of Colombia has shown great courage in joining with us to fight this criminal enterprise. We are grateful for their cooperation and their recognition of the value to both countries in stopping the spread of illegal narcotics.”
“The Dallas North Texas Strike Force and our DEA office in Bogota, Colombia, remain committed to defending the United States against Transnational Criminal Organizations importing drugs into our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr., DEA Dallas Field Division. “We remain committed to following drug trafficking to its origins, in this case, Colombia, and we are grateful for partners in the Eastern District of Texas and the Colombian government in this fight.”
This case is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as a joint investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, weapons trafficking offenders, money laundering organizations, and those individuals responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, HSI-Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Colombian National Police, and the Colombian Coast Guard. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Eastern District of Texas.