Ten pilots allegedly working for the narco-trafficking organization ran by Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias “El Loco,” have been arrested across Colombia, reported the newspaper El Espectador Monday.
“These ten captives linked the whole organization of pilots and air mobility of ‘El Loco’ Barrera,” said Colombian Police Commander Oscar Naranjo.
The Colombian Attorney General’s Office issued arrest warrants for eleven pilots after several months of monitoring. All but one of the pilots were successfully detained.
Police also located three illegal airfields allegedly belonging to the narco-trafficking organization along the Colombia-Venezuela border.
The Counter Narcotics Police of Venezuela plan to destroy the airfields Wednesday.
“This strike represents a breakthrough in the neutralization of this drug trafficking organization,” the police commander said. “We have shared with our counterparts in Venezuela the coordinates of three clandestine airfields of this armed group, and our commitment is to neutralize and remove them from circulation.”
El Loco runs one of the largest narcotics trafficking operations in Colombia, transporting cocaine form the Colombian Eastern Plains and Venezuela to the United States and European markets.
He has built an expansive network of drug trafficking organizations, which includes “Los Rastrojos” and various neo-paramilitary groups.
According to the Colombian organized crime database Insight Crime, El Loco often uses Venezuela as a storage and staging point to smuggle drugs to Europe.