World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


U.S. Sentences Colombian Drug Lord to 30 Years

U.S. Sentences Colombian Drug Lord to More Than 30 Years in Prison

Fabio Ochoa was founding member of notorious Medellin Cartel

By Eric Green - Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- A federal judge in Miami, Florida, has sentenced Colombian drug lord Fabio Ochoa to more than 30 years (365 months) in prison on drug conspiracy and money-laundering charges, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced.

In an August 27 statement, the DEA said that in the 1980s, Ochoa was a founding member of the notorious Medellin Cartel, "one of the most ruthless and violent criminal organizations the world has ever known." The DEA said Ochoa was once "one of the world's most feared drug kingpins." The Medellín Cartel was believed responsible for dozens of bombings and hundreds of murders, including those of 500 police officers and 40 judges in Colombia. The cartel was also linked to the deaths of government officials, opposition party leaders and journalists.

Ochoa was extradited by Colombian authorities to the United States in September 2001 to stand trial on charges emanating from a joint DEA-Colombian investigation that shut down a massive cocaine-trafficking organization. The operation revealed Ochoa to be heavily involved in a conspiracy to ship 20 to 30 metric tons of cocaine per month into the United States from 1997-1999. He was found guilty by a Miami federal jury in May 2003.

The DEA said Ochoa, his brothers Jorge and Juan David, along with Pablo Escobar and others, made up the Medellin Cartel, which existed until Escobar's death in 1993.

As part of that cartel, Ochoa and his associates waged a campaign of terror and bribery to pressure the Colombian government to prohibit the extradition of native Colombians. Escobar and several other Medellin leaders, labeled "The Extraditables," took increasingly violent measures to try to force the government to accept legislation that would protect them from extradition.

In December 1990, Ochoa surrendered to Colombian authorities and was in prison from 1991 to 1997. Ochoa ran his drug operation from prison during this time.

The DEA said Ochoa's 1990 surrender led to the demise of the Medellin Cartel.

Former DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson said at the time of Ochoa's extradition in 2001 that the drug lord was "responsible for the destruction of countless lives," adding: "His greed and ruthless behavior are unsurpassed, even among the most notorious traffickers of the 'cartel' era."

Hutchinson, now under secretary for border and transportation security in the Department of Homeland Security, said he applauds the efforts of the "brave men and women" of the Colombian government and national police force in assisting with the extradition of Ochoa to the United States.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news