A top member of the Rastrojos drug gang wanted by U.S. authorities has been arrested by Colombian police and prosecutors, working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, officials said.
Jerson Enrique Camacho Cedeño, a high-level member of the Rastrojos drug gang, was arrested in Bogota, police said.
The criminal organization has strong links to the FARC and “El Flaco Jerson” is alleged to have instructed contract killers of Mexico’s violent Los Zetas drug cartel.
The Rastrojos is run by brothers Javier Antonio and Luis Enrique Calle Serna.
The Calle Serna brothers, among the most-wanted men in Colombia, smuggle cocaine into Europe, North America, Central America and South America.
The brothers, who are known as the “Combas,” took over part of the Norte del Valle cartel led by Wilber Varela, who was killed in Venezuela in January 2008.
Camacho Cedeño is wanted by a New York court on criminal conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering charges, police said.
The suspect is a leading drug trafficker, ranking with Varela and Diego Leon Montoya in terms of importance, Dijin police agency chief Gen. Ramiro Mena said.
Montoya, known as “Don Diego,” was the leader of the Norte del Valle cartel.
The Norte del Valle cartel, considered one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the world, took over the business of the defunct Cali cartel in southwestern Colombia.
Montoya, who was blamed for some 1,500 killings over the past two decades, was arrested on Sept. 10, 2007, and extradited to the United States in December 2008.
The Norte del Valle cartel has been accused of smuggling 500 tons of cocaine into the United States via Mexico between 1990 and 2004.