The ex-lover of one of former President Alvaro Uribe’s brothers was sentenced by a U.S. court on Tuesday to more than four years in prison in relation to drug-trafficking charges.
Judge Joan Lenard sentenced Dolly Cifuentes, alias “la Menor,” to four years and nine months in prison for overseeing a large-scale international cocaine smuggling operation. Cifuentes is known to have been in a relationship with Jaime Alberto Uribe Velez, brother of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, with whom she had two children: Daniel Alberto and Ana Maria.
Cifuentes has been detained in a Miami federal prison since her extradition to the United States in August of 2012 for suspected links with the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, considered by U.S. intelligence to be the most powerful drug-trafficking organizations in the world.
Facing charges that placed her at the center of a massive drug ring, Cifuentes changed her plea to “guilty” in September of 2013.
The Colombian woman was accused in 2010 by the U.S. government of fabricating and importing at least 30 tons of cocaine destined for the North American country and to Guatemala and Colombia, stopping points on an international trafficking route destined for the United States. Last Tuesday, she was prosecuted for one of the five charges against her, with the other four being withdrawn by the prosecution.
Under U.S. law, the charges against Cifuentes could have resulted in a life sentence, but an agreement between the U.S. and Colombian governments precluded such a ruling.
The defense lawyer requested a closed hearing for security reasons, an atypical request in narcotics cases that was nonetheless granted, forcing all press was made to leave the courtroom.
The lawyer also told the international AP press service that Cifuentes had asked the presiding judge and the prosecution to keep the summary of the trial a secret, for the protection of the defendant’s family, a request that was also granted. Cifuentes’ current husband and two children reportedly remain in Colombia.
Colombian national police had previously confirmed that Cifuentes is the sister of Francisco Cifuentes Villa, a notorious narco-paramilitary who was murdered in April 2007.
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has not been implicated in Cifuentes’ crimes, though Cifuentes is a one of a number of the Senate candidate’s family members and close political allies to be brought up on charges related to narcotrafficking and paramilitarism.