Jose Uriel Zapata Almesiga, alias “Cascabel” (rattlesnake), was captured in Riofrio, a coastal municipality in the western department of Valle del Cauca.
He is being held on charges of aggravated conspiracy and illegal possession of military weapons.
The alleged drug trafficker had a front as a coffee merchant.
Cascabel has previously spent 18 months in prison for murder. He is known to have participated in several attacks on citizens in the town of Barragon in Valle del Cauca when he was a member of the FARC.