May 8th, 2008 08:31 EST
Colombian paramilitary leader extradited to the U.S.
WASHINGTON - Carlos Mario Jimenez-Naranjo, a.k.a. Macaco, was extradited today from Colombia to the United States to face drug trafficking charges in the District of Columbia and the Southern District of Florida. Jimenez-Naranjo made his initial appearance today in the District of Columbia before Judge Alan Kay.
Jimenez-Naranjo was indicted in the District of Columbia for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, with intent to import cocaine into the United States, and with engaging in drug trafficking with the intent to provide something of pecuniary value to a terrorist organization (narco-terrorism).
The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation. Jimenez-Naranjo can face a minimum prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. Pursuant to the extradition request, however, the United States has provided assurances to the government of Colombia that it will not seek a life sentence, but instead will ask for a prison term. ICE, DEA, and the FBI under the purview of the National Dangerous Drug Section of the Department of Justice worked together on this case.
Jimenez-Naranjo is also charged in the Southern District of Florida in a 20-count indictment with conspiracy to import cocaine, money laundering offenses and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine on board a vessel subject to United States jurisdiction as a result of an ICE-led investigation with the same participating agencies.
Before his arrest, Jimenez-Naranjo was allegedly one of the top leaders of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), a Colombian right-wing paramilitary and drug-trafficking organization. The AUC is a U.S. Department of State-designated foreign terrorist organization.
According to the indictment, Jimenez-Naranjo led the Bloque Central Bolivar, a group within the AUC, commanding an estimated 7,000 armed combatants. Jimenez-Naranjo controlled large areas where cocaine was produced, and his organization was responsible for exporting thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Central America, Mexico and the United States. In August 2007, Jimenez-Naranjo was served with a provisional arrest warrant based on the indictment in the District of Columbia.
-- ICE --