Authorities detained alleged members of a transnational drug trafficking network that moved heroin from northeastern Colombia to the United States and Europe, reported local media Monday.
The drug smuggling ring operated primarily out of Cucuta, a city in the department of Norte de Santander, right along the Venezuelan border.
The network’s leaders, Feliz Huberto Celis and Ramon Eduardo Parada, were arrested along with eight other men in Cucuta. Authorities also seized 300 kg of cocaine and four vehicles.
The operation, known as Republic 85, was part of a larger investigation that began ten months ago and resulted in the arrest of 11 other members last weekend.
Over the course of the investigation, police seized over 50 kg of heroin in four raids in February and March.
According to reports, the network transported product nationally in vehicles using hidden compartments and human couriers who flew to the Caribbean, where the heroin then moved on to the U.S. and Western Europe.
The suspects will be tried for the crimes of conspiracy and the trafficking, sale and possession of narcotics.