Daniel Barrera-Barrera, Javier Fernandez-Barrero, and Orlando Fernandez-Barrero Indicted in a Superseding Indictment on Federal Drugs Charges

September 14, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 12, 2011 released the following:

“Three High-Level Colombian Narcotics Traffickers Indicted

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), announced the unsealing of a superseding indictment against Daniel Barrera-Barrera, 42, a/k/a “Loco Barrera,” Javier Fernandez-Barrero, 43, and Orlando Fernandez-Barrero, 45, both collectively known as “Los Gorditos.” Two of the three were arrested; Barrera-Barrera remains at large. Colombian officials recently announced a $2.7 million reward for the capture of Daniel Barrera-Barrera, whom Colombian authorities describe as one the “most wanted” individuals n Colombia.

The superseding indictment alleges that the three defendants conspired to manufacture and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine knowing that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States. The superseding indictment also charges that Daniel Barrera-Barrera conspired to import cocaine into the United States. If convicted, the defendants each face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

On February 11, 2011, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer announced the creation of the BACRIM prosecution unit within the Narcotics Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, specifically dedicated to dismantling emerging Bandas Criminales in Colombia. This is the first such unit in the United States specifically designed to target the emerging BACRIMs. The prosecution announced today is part of the BACRIM initiative. Including the defendants announced today, more than 100 BACRIM leaders and associates have been indicted by the Southern District of Florida. In addition, just last week, at a joint press conference in Colombia with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Attorney General Viviane Morales, Ferrer announced two additional BACRIM prosecutions: Operation Under the Sea and Operation Seven Trumpets, resulting in charges against 56 defendants in six separate federal cases.

“This indictment marks another success in our efforts to dismantle the emerging BACRIMs. It is the culmination of a significant long-term law enforcement investigation,” said United States Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. “We will work tirelessly and commit our efforts to dismantling these narcotics trafficking organizations.”

“The arrests announced today exemplify coordinated, multi-national law enforcement efforts reaching into the highest levels of a drug trafficking organization’s leadership,” said Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge for DEA Miami Field Division. “The DEA will continue these joint efforts and maintain our sights on those who most damage our communities, whether from within or outside the geographic boundaries of the United States.”

“Drug kingpin Daniel Barrera-Barrera remains one of Colombia’s most wanted criminals,” said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami. “His indictment, along with Javier and Orlando Fernandez-Barrero, has significantly disrupted their criminal enterprise which is responsible for distributing tons of cocaine into the U.S. and other countries.”

“Transnational Criminal Organizations are a direct threat to the national security of the United States,” said Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of ICE HSI in Miami. “The combined efforts of ICE Homeland Security Investigations and our law enforcement partners are designed to disrupt and dismantle these illicit organizations.”

On March 2, 2010, the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated Barrera-Barrera as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNT) due to his significant role in international narcotics trafficking. According to OFAC, Barrera-Barrera operates primarily in the eastern plains of Colombia, between Bogota and the Venezuelan border, and maintains a partnership with the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), a narco-terrorist organization identified by the President as a kingpin pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2003.

The charges announced today are part of “Operation Splinter Cell,” an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation led by DEA. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Mr. Ferrer commends the outstanding investigative efforts of the DEA, FBI and ICE-HSI, as well as the Colombian Fiscalia General and the Colombian National Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fels.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Alleged Colombian Bacrim Narco-Traffickers Indicted on Cocaine Conspiracy Charges

September 6, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida on September 2, 2011 released the following:

U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against 56 BACRIM Narco-Traffickers in Operation Seven Trumpets and Operation Under the Sea in Six Separate Cases

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jay Bergman, Andean Regional Director, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, in conjunction with Viviane Morales Hoyos, Attorney General of Colombia, Director Oscar Naranjo, Colombian National Police, Director Maritza Gonzalez, Colombian Judicial Police, Admiral Alvaro Echandia, Colombian Navy, and General Julio Alberto Gonzalez Ruiz, Colombian Air Force, announce the indictment of more than fifty (50) alleged leaders and associates of militarized Colombian narco-trafficking organizations, known as Bandas Criminales (BACRIMS), for their involvement in drug trafficking from South America to the United States using airplanes and submarines. The BACRIMs are narco-trafficking organizations that seek to fill the power void left by the fall of the Norte Valle Cartel and the dissolution of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC).

On February 11, 2011, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer announced the creation of the BACRIM prosecution unit within the Narcotics Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, specifically dedicated to dismantling emerging Bandas Criminales in Colombia. This is the first such unit in the United States specifically designed to target the emerging BACRIMs. Since then, including today’s defendants, more than 100 BACRIM leaders and associates have been indicted by the Southern District of Florida. Today, Ferrer announced the most recent BACRIM prosecutions: Operation Under the Sea and Operation Seven Trumpets, resulting in charges against 56 defendants in six separate federal cases.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Together with our law enforcement partners in Colombia, we have developed a proactive strategy to combat the rise of the BACRIM. Our common goal is simple: target the BACRIM leadership, dismantle their narco-trafficking operations, and eliminate the threat they pose to the security of the region and the international community.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville added, “These indictments are an excellent example of the results that the partnership between the United States and Colombian law enforcement can produce when combining efforts and resources. The Drug Enforcement Administration is committed to continuing these efforts and expect to see the downfall of BACRIMs, just as our past joint efforts eliminated other large scale Colombian-based drug trafficking organizations.”

In Operation Under the Sea, twenty-two defendants were charged for their alleged participation in a drug trafficking organization that built and used fully submersible and semi-submersible submarines to transport cocaine from Colombia to Central America, with the ultimate destination being the United States. This indictment, returned on May 17, 2011, charges the following individuals with numerous drug trafficking offenses: Mauner Mahecha Marcelo, 32; Luis Alexander Mahecha Marcelo, 23; Alexander Hernandez Arrubla, 29; Octavio Amezquita Marcelo, 38; Romir Gustavo Gutierrez Guerrero, 42; Jairo Trejos, 32; Jaider Fabio Gomez Aristizabal, 40; Jose Stiven Berrio Zorrilla, 26; Fernando Pineda Jimenez, 30; Marco Antonio Lopez Loaiza, 52; Victor Mario Palacio Muñoz, 37;Jesus Ernesto Garcia Prieto, 48; Juan Carlos Vasquez Pachon, 39; Roberto Gilton Valencia Pinto, 42; Albin Rodrigo Arrollo Garcia, 43; Manuel Santiago Portocarrero, 45; Jack Jimenez, 35; Oscar Augusto Gutierrez Garcia, 43; Pedro Alejandro Pinilla Castro, 32; Agustin Campos Pardo, 44; Carlos Alfonso Almanza Sanchez, 28; and Rodrigo Tercero Royet Arias, 38.

In Operation Seven Trumpets, a total of thirty-four defendants were charged in five separate indictments for their participation in Colombian-based drug trafficking organizations that used airplanes to transport thousands of kilograms of cocaine from clandestine airstrips located in South America, to clandestine airstrips in Central America, mostly Honduras. The indictment alleges that the United States was the ultimate destination for the cocaine loads. According to the charges, the drug trafficking organizations used nominees to purchase U.S. registered planes. These nominees, in turn, submitted false documentation to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to hide the true identity of the purchasers (members of the drug trafficking organization). Charged in separate cases in Operation Seven Trumpets are Fernando Bertulucci Castillo, 49; Alvaro Suarez Granados, 53; Sammy Echtaya Rios, 44; Alvaro Suarez Montanez, 25; Marco Castillo Bertrad, 53; Miguel Antonio Monroy Ramirez, 61; Oscar Humberto Sierra Pastrana, 48; Oscar Guillermo Sierra Ferro, 20; John Finkelstein Winer, 57; John Fredy Ruiz Garzon, 33; Enrique Moreno Serrano, 65; Carlos Antonio Ortega Bonilla, 61; Luis Felipe Guerreron,58; Oscar Arbelaez Davila, 62; Norberto Castaneda Vargas, 45; Jose Hugo Salazar Buitrago, 55; Monica Liliana Franco Garcia, 37; Fabio Gracia Montes, 64; Jose Eduardo Suaza Vargas, 38; Alejandro Canal Duplat, 43; Cristina Eblin Guerra Moo, 54; Dorian Alejandro Menco Delgado, 33; Jorge Barragan Mejia, 55; Richard Alexander Dixon Figueroa, 41; Braulio Tarquino Blanco Davila, 34; Edgar Fernando Delgado Castro, 56; Jorge Enrique Arrauth Gonzalez, 51; Jaime Garcia Garcia, 61; Carmina Perdomo Barona, 54; Arturo Molano Rodriguez, 59; Jairo Alonso Reina Castillo, 60; Augusto Lozano Garcia, 43; Orlando Gomez Pinzon, 55; and Fernando Sandoval Vasquez, 58.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 60 years in prison.

Today’s Operation Seven Trumpets and Operation Under the Sea are the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking and money laundering enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the outstanding investigative efforts of DEA Miami Field Division, DEA Bogota Country Office, DEA Cartagena Country Office, the Colombian Fiscalia General, the Colombian National Police, the Colombian Judicial Police, the Colombian Navy, the Colombian Air Force and all other law enforcement officers from both countries that contributed to the successful execution of these operations. Ferrer stressed that these prosecutions would not be possible without the outstanding cooperation and assistance of the Colombian authorities, at all levels. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Hoffman.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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