The defendants, Miguel Antonio Jimenez Torres, 40, Hector Fabio Zapata Alvarez, 30, and Nivaldo Riascos Renteria, 41, all of Colombian nationality, were arrested in Colombia in February 2009 and subsequently extradited to the U.S.
The men were found guilty of organizing the shipment of 10 metric tons of cocaine, which was to be transported into the southwest U.S. through Ecuador and Mexico. Although the delivery was never carried out, a payment of more than $491,000 was sent from a FARC-affiliated cartel to a U.S. undercover agent in Seattle as a down payment for the drugs.
“Ten tons of cocaine has a street value of about $100 million or an equivalent of 10 million user doses,” said Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney in Seattle.
Two further suspects were sought for extradition by U.S. authorities but they were killed in Colombia before they could be arrested.
Jimenez and Zapata face a 10-year minimum prison sentence, while Riascos faces a minimum of 20 years in prison due to a prior drug trafficking conviction in eastern New York state.
Sentencing has been set for August 8.