Accused Colombian Cocaine Distributor, Known As ‘El Loco,’ Pleads Not Guilty
New York (CBSNewYork/AP) — An alleged drug trafficker from Colombia known as “The Madman” made his first appearance Wednesday in a federal court in New York.
Daniel Barrera is charged with conspiracy to import narcotics, which can carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, or a maximum of life in prison if he is convicted. He was described as working with Colombian terror groups that destroyed their country to keep their profits high, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
Barrera was extradited from Colombia, reported Papa.
“Any case where someone is extradited, almost in all cases they are going to be detained without bond,” said attorney Ruben Oliva. “They don’t have status in this country.”
“For more than a decade, as alleged, Daniel Barrera Barrera has operated at the center of a truly evil web spun between his narcotics trafficking organization and two violent and sworn enemy terrorist organizations – the AUC and the FARC. By purchasing raw cocaine paste from the FARC, which he processed in laboratories in areas controlled by the AUC, to whom he paid fees, Barrera’s behemoth cocaine organization reached an annual production rate of upwards of 400 tons, enriching itself and the two terrorist organizations it paid off, as the indictment describes,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “This was truly cocaine with blood in its background.”
The 44-year-old Barrera was designated in March 2010 by the U.S. Treasury Department as a “Special Designated Narcotics Trafficker.”
Authorities say Barrera is known as “El Loco,” and according to prosecutors, was arrested in Venezuela last year on Sept. 18. He was then sent to Colombia, where the U.S. pursued his extradition.
Prosecutors also alleged he laundered tens of millions of dollars of profits as he processed about 30,000 kilograms of raw cocaine into cocaine powder each month since 1998.
Barrera has also reportedly had several cosmetic surgeries and tried to burn off his fingerprints with acid to mask his identity. His attorney on Wednesday denied his client had the surgeries.
Following his prosecution in New York, Barrera will be presented and arraigned in the Southern District of Florida.
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