NEW YORK, NY. - Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division United States Drug Enforcement Administration John P. Gilbride and United States Attorney PREET BHARARA for the Southern District of New York, announced that JUANITO CORDOBA-BERMUDEZ, an associate of the 57 Front of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia ("FARC"), a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, was sentenced yesterday in Manhattan federal court to 15 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to the FARC. CORDOBA-BERMUDEZ, 44, previously pled guilty to this charge on August 10, 2010. United States Circuit Court Judge DENNY CHIN imposed today's sentence.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: "Juanito Cordoba-Bermudez and his compatriots were committed to providing the FARC with the resources they needed to maintain their terrorist activity. His sentencing today is an important reminder of the lethal danger posed by the FARC and the importance of our law enforcement partnerships both domestically and internationally."
According to documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court:
The FARC was formed in 1964 and is structured as a military organization, with approximately 10,000 armed guerillas organized into seven "blocs," 68 numbered "Fronts" (including the 57 Front), nine named "Fronts," and four urban "militias." The group is dedicated to the violent overthrow of Colombia's democratically-elected government and has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States Department of State. The 57 Front operates in the territory within Colombia's Choco Department, which borders Panama. It supports the FARC's terrorist activities through narcotics trafficking and kidnapping for ransom, including the kidnapping of Americans and other foreign nationals.
The Indictment recounts multiple discussions among various co-defendants, including CORDOBA-BERMUDEZ, regarding FARC logistics, supplies and weapons, as well as the seizures by authorities of a variety of weapons and material in 2008.
In addition to his prison term, Judge CHIN sentenced CORDOBA-BERMUDEZ to three years of supervised release.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, the Narco-Terrorism Group of the DEA's Bogota Country Office, the DEA's Panama City Country Office, the FBI's Extraterritorial Hostage Taking Squad in Miami, and the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs. Mr. BHARARA also thanked the Colombian Navy, the Colombian National Police, the Colombia Attorney General's Office, and the Panamanian National Police for their assistance in the investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office's Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys JEFFREY A. BROWN and REBECCA M. RICIGLIANO are in charge of the prosecution.