A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and 40-year prison sentence of a Colombian drug kingpin.
Authorities said Joaquin Mario Valencia-Trujillo headed the Cali
cartel, responsible for an operation known as the “Panama Express,”
which smuggled more than 600 tons of cocaine worth $8 billion over
Valencia-Trujillo was arrested in Colombia in 2003
and extradited to the United States. After his October 2006 conviction
in Tampa, Fla., he was also ordered to forfeit $110 million.
His lawyers contended he was a legitimate businessman convicted on the
word of drug traffickers. Among other things, they claimed on appeal
that he was prosecuted for crimes beyond those Colombia authorized in
An 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld the conviction Tuesday. (AP)