Alleged Colombian Drug Lord Daniel Barrera Pleads Guilty for Second Time in U.S. Federal Court

By Dialogo
November 24, 2014



Colombian drug kingpin Daniel Barrera has now pleaded guilty to two U.S. federal drug trafficking charges, and faces one more indictment.

Barrera, who is known as “El Loco,” is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to manufacture cocaine knowing it would be imported into the United States and other countries. He entered that plea in federal court in New York City on November 20.

“A drug kingpin who enriched two terrorist organizations and himself by producing and peddling poison now stands to lose his wealth, his empire, and his liberty,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. El Loco collaborated in his drug trafficking enterprise with two terrorist groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia.

Through an interpreter, El Loco told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis that he and two others coordinated a massive narco-trafficking network from 1998-2011. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 27, 2015 by federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

On October 9, also in the New York federal court, El Loco pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars in cocaine profits. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in both cases on February 27, 2015 by federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein. After the judge sentences El Loco in New York, federal law enforcement officials will transport El Loco to Miami, where he’s also facing life in prison for participating in a drug conspiracy.

Security forces captured El Loco while he was making a call in a telephone booth in San Cristobal, Venezuela, in September 2012. They also arrested 36 suspected members of his organization and seized five tons of cocaine in the weeks before El Loco’s capture. Once in custody, they sent him to Colombia in November 2012, where he was imprisoned until his extradition to the United States in July 2013.

“The last of the great capos has fallen,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said after the capture of El Loco.

El Loco is accused of overseeing trafficking routes that shipped narcotics from Colombia to Central America, Mexico or other South American nations. He purchased cocaine paste from the FARC, processing about 400 tons of the substance annually, and was a key supplier of cocaine for the Don Lucho narco-trafficking organization. Ultimately, drug traffickers transported the drugs into the United States.

U.S. federal law enforcement officials suspect El Loco had plastic surgery to change his appearance to avoid capture. They also believe he dipped his fingers in acid to avoid being identified by his fingerprints.

Colombian police arrest father who allegedly forced daughter to be drug mule


Colombian police on November 21 captured a father who allegedly forced his 11-year-old daughter to swallow 104 cocaine-filled capsules so she could be used as a drug mule, prosecutors said.

Police arrested Diego Fernando Mancilla Aguilar at a residence about 30 kilometers from his hometown of Cali in the Department of Valle del Cauca. Law enforcement authorities have charged him with attempted murder, using a minor to commit a crime and drug trafficking.

Mancilla Aguilar’s daughter underwent life-saving surgery last week after doctors found between 500-600 grams of cocaine inside her. At least one of the capsules exploded in her stomach.

The girl, whose name hasn't been made public, is believed to be the youngest drug mule in the country’s history. She was in intensive care and under police protection as of November 22. The Colombian Family Welfare Institute has temporary custody of the girl, whose parents recently applied for a visa so she could travel internationally.

“A case like this is horrific because it puts the life of an 11-year-old girl at risk,” Jhon Arley Murillo, a spokesperson for the institution, told reporters. “We are going to take steps to offer her protection and remove her from her harmful family environment.”

Spain is considered a transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for Europe.




Colombian drug kingpin Daniel Barrera has now pleaded guilty to two U.S. federal drug trafficking charges, and faces one more indictment.

Barrera, who is known as “El Loco,” is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to manufacture cocaine knowing it would be imported into the United States and other countries. He entered that plea in federal court in New York City on November 20.

“A drug kingpin who enriched two terrorist organizations and himself by producing and peddling poison now stands to lose his wealth, his empire, and his liberty,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. El Loco collaborated in his drug trafficking enterprise with two terrorist groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia.

Through an interpreter, El Loco told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis that he and two others coordinated a massive narco-trafficking network from 1998-2011. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 27, 2015 by federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

On October 9, also in the New York federal court, El Loco pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars in cocaine profits. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in both cases on February 27, 2015 by federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein. After the judge sentences El Loco in New York, federal law enforcement officials will transport El Loco to Miami, where he’s also facing life in prison for participating in a drug conspiracy.

Security forces captured El Loco while he was making a call in a telephone booth in San Cristobal, Venezuela, in September 2012. They also arrested 36 suspected members of his organization and seized five tons of cocaine in the weeks before El Loco’s capture. Once in custody, they sent him to Colombia in November 2012, where he was imprisoned until his extradition to the United States in July 2013.

“The last of the great capos has fallen,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said after the capture of El Loco.

El Loco is accused of overseeing trafficking routes that shipped narcotics from Colombia to Central America, Mexico or other South American nations. He purchased cocaine paste from the FARC, processing about 400 tons of the substance annually, and was a key supplier of cocaine for the Don Lucho narco-trafficking organization. Ultimately, drug traffickers transported the drugs into the United States.

U.S. federal law enforcement officials suspect El Loco had plastic surgery to change his appearance to avoid capture. They also believe he dipped his fingers in acid to avoid being identified by his fingerprints.

Colombian police arrest father who allegedly forced daughter to be drug mule


Colombian police on November 21 captured a father who allegedly forced his 11-year-old daughter to swallow 104 cocaine-filled capsules so she could be used as a drug mule, prosecutors said.

Police arrested Diego Fernando Mancilla Aguilar at a residence about 30 kilometers from his hometown of Cali in the Department of Valle del Cauca. Law enforcement authorities have charged him with attempted murder, using a minor to commit a crime and drug trafficking.

Mancilla Aguilar’s daughter underwent life-saving surgery last week after doctors found between 500-600 grams of cocaine inside her. At least one of the capsules exploded in her stomach.

The girl, whose name hasn't been made public, is believed to be the youngest drug mule in the country’s history. She was in intensive care and under police protection as of November 22. The Colombian Family Welfare Institute has temporary custody of the girl, whose parents recently applied for a visa so she could travel internationally.

“A case like this is horrific because it puts the life of an 11-year-old girl at risk,” Jhon Arley Murillo, a spokesperson for the institution, told reporters. “We are going to take steps to offer her protection and remove her from her harmful family environment.”

Spain is considered a transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for Europe.


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