Colombian authorities, working with U.S. DEA agents, announced arrests Thursday of five Colombians in Medellin they say were involved in a drug ring that smuggled more than 660 pounds of cocaine and heroin into the United States, where four more were also arrested.
Members of the ring, based in Medellin and New York, allegedly used “drug mules,” or people who swallow golf-ball sized pellets of the drug encased in latex, and false-bottom suitcases to smuggle the drug into the United States over the last eight months, the Colombian Prosecutor General’s office announced through its website.
U.S. authorities will move to extradite those arrested in Colombia, according to the prosecutor general’s office.
According to the investigation launched in April this year by Colombia’s National Anti-Narcotics Unit and Maritime Interdiction UNAIM, and with help from the DEA, about 300 kilos of the drugs, or 660 pounds, were seized in the last eight months.
Those captured in Medellin were identified as: Alberto Correa Carlos Castano, leader of the organization; Evelio de Jesus Giraldo Giraldo; Juan Esteban Marin Franco; Carlos Suarez Restrepo; and Javier Alonso Redondo, who are being held in a prison Bogota.
The suspects in New York were identified as: Alba Duque Yepes, alias ‘La Negra’; Jose Danilo Duque, alias “El Mono”, Jairo Velásquez Junior and Juan Ardila.