Colombian drug kingpin ‘Papa Grande’ pleads guilty in the U.S.

By Dialogo
October 20, 2014



A former ally of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar could spend the rest of his life in prison, thanks to a recent guilty plea in U.S. federal court.

Salomón Camacho Mora – also known as “Papa Grande,” “El Viejo,” and “Héctor” - pleaded guilty October 15 to conspiring to traffic cocaine into the United States. In a federal court in New Jersey, Papa Grande, 70, admitted that he and members of his narco-trafficking organization shipped multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Venezuelan ports. The drugs were then sold to organized crime groups and gangs in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States.

The plea came four years after he was captured by Venezuelan counter-drug agents in the city of Valencia. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Papa Grande worked with Escobar, who was one of the most notorious drug kingpins in the world. U.S. federal prosecutors indicted him on drug trafficking charges in 2002; the same year, the U.S. Justice Department designated him a Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT).

Papa Grande is scheduled to be sentenced on March 10, 2015. He faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and is likely to be ordered to forfeit $1.6 million (USD) and relinquish eight properties in Colombia.

His plea to drug charges was the second from a major Colombian narco-trafficker in recent weeks. On October 9, Daniel “El Loco” Barrera pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to conspiring to illegally launder tens of millions of dollars in cocaine-trafficking profits. He’s also expected to plead guilty to additional federal drug-trafficking charges in New York City and in Miami, and faces 20 years in prison and deportation.

El Lobo smuggled 900 tons of cocaine into the U.S. and Europe between 1992 and 2012. He often worked with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terrorist organization that supports its activities with drug trafficking money. In recent years, the Colombian National Police have seized about $250 million (USD) of his assets, including properties and businesses he owned.


A former ally of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar could spend the rest of his life in prison, thanks to a recent guilty plea in U.S. federal court.

Salomón Camacho Mora – also known as “Papa Grande,” “El Viejo,” and “Héctor” - pleaded guilty October 15 to conspiring to traffic cocaine into the United States. In a federal court in New Jersey, Papa Grande, 70, admitted that he and members of his narco-trafficking organization shipped multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Venezuelan ports. The drugs were then sold to organized crime groups and gangs in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States.

The plea came four years after he was captured by Venezuelan counter-drug agents in the city of Valencia. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Papa Grande worked with Escobar, who was one of the most notorious drug kingpins in the world. U.S. federal prosecutors indicted him on drug trafficking charges in 2002; the same year, the U.S. Justice Department designated him a Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT).

Papa Grande is scheduled to be sentenced on March 10, 2015. He faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and is likely to be ordered to forfeit $1.6 million (USD) and relinquish eight properties in Colombia.

His plea to drug charges was the second from a major Colombian narco-trafficker in recent weeks. On October 9, Daniel “El Loco” Barrera pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to conspiring to illegally launder tens of millions of dollars in cocaine-trafficking profits. He’s also expected to plead guilty to additional federal drug-trafficking charges in New York City and in Miami, and faces 20 years in prison and deportation.

El Lobo smuggled 900 tons of cocaine into the U.S. and Europe between 1992 and 2012. He often worked with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terrorist organization that supports its activities with drug trafficking money. In recent years, the Colombian National Police have seized about $250 million (USD) of his assets, including properties and businesses he owned.
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