Alleged Colombian Drug Trafficker Extradited to U.S.

By Dialogo
April 30, 2013

Alleged Colombian drug trafficker José Linares Castillo was extradited to the United States, where he was accused of shipping tons of cocaine into that country, as well as of supporting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Federal Prosecutor’s Office stated on April 26.

“Linares Castillo, arrested in May 2012, arrived at the Southern District of New York on April 25. He was brought before Judge Richard Sullivan on April 26,” the prosecutor of that jurisdiction, Preet Bharara, said in a statement.

Linares Castillo, age 47, is considered by the U.S. Department of Justice as one of the major drug traffickers in the world, wanted by the United States.

He faces three charges of conspiracy for “importing cocaine into the United States,” “narco-terrorism” and “providing material support.” Two of the charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Last February, the United States announced sanctions against Linares Castillo, seizing his assets in the U.S. and prohibiting him from conducting any financial activity.

According to U.S. authorities, Linares Castillo’s network has produced and trafficked thousands of kilos of cocaine by air, mainly from the Venezuelan state of Apure, arriving in Central America and México, where the recipients are criminal organizations involved with the Mexican drug cartels of Sinaloa and Los Zetas, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

In addition to being involved with the FARC guerrillas, his criminal organization has also been linked in the past to Colombian drug leaders such as Daniel “El Loco” Barrera and Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero Castillo.