MIAMI, FL. – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announce the December 12, 2011 extradition from Colombia to the United States of defendant Ramon Quintero Sanclemente, a Colombian national, on drug charges in the Southern District of Florida. He had been in custody awaiting extradition since his arrest in April 2010.
Quintero Sanclemente made his initial appearance in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale earlier today. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2011 at 11 a.m. He is charged with conspiracy to import five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States from 1998 through December 4, 2008. He is also charged with importing five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States in both January 2004 and March 2004, and with attempting to import five or more kilograms of cocaine into the United States in September 2005. In addition to the narcotics charges, Quintero Sanclemente is charged with conspiracy to launder drug proceeds.
If convicted, Quintero Sanclemente faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison on each of the drug trafficking charges. The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
According to numerous press accounts in Colombia and elsewhere, Quintero Sanclemente was a former top lieutenant in the North Valley Cartel and, at the time of his capture, his drug trafficking organization was allegedly responsible for obtaining more than 50 metric tons of cocaine annually for export to Mexico, Europe and the United States. On January 14, 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Quintero Sanclemente as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNT).
“The extradition of high level leaders of international drug trafficking organizations is often the result of DEA’s most complex investigations and the strong partnerships we have with our international law enforcement partners,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville.
“The extradition of Quintero Sanclemente to South Florida is the result of the close working relationship between United States and Colombian law enforcement authorities,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. “Federal prosecutors and agents in South Florida remain deeply committed to eradicating the Colombian drug cartels and shutting off the supply of cocaine reaching our borders from abroad.”