A suspected drug trafficker wanted by the United States has been arrested by police in northern Colombia, police said Monday.
Victor Hugo Ramirez Estupiñan, who allegedly heads an international drug ring that smuggles cocaine into Central America, Mexico and the United States, with the latter country seeking his extradition, was arrested in the city of Barranquilla.
Ramirez Estupiñan’s arrest came as a result of cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officials said.
The suspect, according to investigators, was the head of the Los Culimochos trafficking ring and belonged to other organizations led by Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez, who was extradited to the United States, and that of Wilber Varela, slain in Venezuela in February 2008.
Ramirez Estupiñan, who was brought before the press Monday in Bogota, “is currently charged with controlling drug routes out of the ports of Tumaco on Colombia’s Pacific coast and Esmeralda in Ecuador,” police said.
An August 2007 operation on a farm near Guayaquil, Ecuador, seized from Ramirez Estupiñan more than 5 tons of cocaine buried underground, and among the 10 people arrested was his wife, Ledys Amparo Estupiñan. (EFE)