December 4, 2021

519 Magazine

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‘Don Mario’ pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and terrorist support in the United States

(Reuters) – Daniel Randon Herrera, once considered Colombia’s most wanted drug smuggler, pleaded guilty Tuesday in the United States to charges of distributing $ 1 billion in cocaine and supporting a terrorist group.

Rendón Herrera, 56, has claimed responsibility for the smuggling of 73,645 kilograms of cocaine, U.S. officials say.

Prosecutors say the defendant is the leader of a group called Los Urabenos, along with Colombian drug lord Dyro Antonio Usuka, also known as “Otoniel”, who was caught in a blow to drug trafficking in Colombia last month.

Herrera, also known as “Don Mario,” pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dora Irisari in Brooklyn. He is accused of sending cocaine to the United States and buying weapons for paramilitary fighters he commanded.

“I contacted others to collect taxes to take the cocoa that came to the United States,” Randon Herrera told Irisari through a translator.

Defendant faces life imprisonment and a minimum of 20 years in prison, with an additional $ 47 million between seizures and fines.

Rendón Herrera was captured in the Colombian jungle in 2009 and extradited to the United States in 2018. He has previously pleaded not guilty.

Irisari said he would be deported because of Randon Herrera’s confession and that his time in Colombian prisons would be credited with sentencing.

Prosecutors say he faces charges in Colombia for crimes related to drug trafficking, arms violations and “multiple” murders.

Usuka, 50, led Eurepenos, also known as Clan del Golfo, a criminal organization dedicated to drug trafficking.

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The Colombian government has promised to extradite Úsuga to the United States soon to face drug trafficking charges.