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Friday, September 03, 2010

Valencia Convicted

The acting director of the DEA, Michele Leonhart said in reference to Jesus Eduardo Valencia Arbelaez that "we have put behind bars at one of the biggest drug traffickers, which has orchestrated massive smuggling operations." (AP)

Manhattan U.S. Attorney, Bhar Preet, reported that the head of a vast organization based in Colombia and Venezuela, had pleaded guilty and "now faces severe consequences of exploiting West African countries for their own enrichment .

Last September, Valencia, 45, was extradited to the U.S. from Romania charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, according to the prosecution.

The man was arrested in June 2009 in Bucharest, where he had traveled to study with other accomplices to establish a base for his band, which also offended in countries such as Bolivia, Spain, Netherlands, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Mauritania and United States.

In the two years prior to his arrest, Valencia and other accomplices tried to buy an airplane to transport tons of cocaine from Venezuela to several African countries, according to the prosecutor detailed in a statement.

Manuel Silva Jaramillo, organized several meetings in Madrid, New York and Virginia (USA), among other places, and prepared to finance the purchase of the aircraft through a Cyprus company.

In October 2007, Silva Jaramillo gave instructions to transfer more than 1.25 million euros in cash, from drug trafficking operations, to various accounts in the United States.

The prosecutor explained that one of the meetings held to arrange the purchase, Silva said the available band between 30 and 60 million euros in Spain to launder needed.

In November 2008, Valencia met in Madrid with a confidant of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Jaramillo Silva helped in the purchase of the aircraft. Valence said his organization could send shipments of cocaine from Venezuela to Guinea, where he had braces and a private airfield.

In January 2009 Valencia returned to meet with the undercover DEA, who explained that the band was considering to ship cocaine from Bolivia to West Africa.

Also made arrangements for the other person received 250,000 euros in cash as part of the aircraft acquisition process. Valencia was arrested a fifth member of this organization, as the prosecutor.

Bhar explained that Geraldo Quintana Perez Perez and Steve Harvey were sent from Sierra Leone to New York in April 2009, in what was the first collaboration of its kind between the two countries.

Later, Javier Caro was awarded in June of that year by the Togolese authorities to the U.S..

For his part, Silva Jaramillo was arrested that same month after visiting the Dominican Republic after he pleaded guilty, so is waiting to learn his sentence.

"International networks of drug dealing increasingly used over West Africa as a hub for their illegal activities," lamented today Bhar.

He said, however, "operating in several continents and try to increase the scope of their criminal activities, drug traffickers are most vulnerable to the efforts of cooperation between U.S. authorities and their partners."

The acting director of the DEA, Michele Leonhart, said in reference to Valencia Arbelaez that "we have put behind bars at one of the biggest drug traffickers, which has orchestrated massive smuggling operations."

The Rest @ Que en Espana.

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