Alleged International Narcotics Trafficker Extradited from Colombia
Defendant Allegedly Conspired to Import 8.3 Tons of Cocaine
August 8 (NEWARK)-U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Field Division, Brian Crowell; DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division, Mark R. Trouville; United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Preet Bharara; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL), Wifredo A. Ferrer; and Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Janice K. Fedarcyk, today announced the extradition of Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes-Villa from Colombia to the United States to face separate charges in both the Southern District of New York and the Southern District of Florida. She is charged with conspiring to import multi-ton quantities of cocaine into the United States. Cifuentes-Villa, a citizen of Colombia, arrived in the Southern District of New York yesterday and was immediately transferred to the Southern District of Florida, where she made her initial appearance in court today before Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan and was detained pending trial.
The charges filed in SDNY and SDFL are the result of a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional investigation into Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa, the brother and co-defendant of Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes Villa, and his drug trafficking organization. Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa, who is also charged in SDNY and SDFL, has been designated as a Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT), a Department of Justice designation reserved for the most dangerous and prolific narcotics traffickers. In February 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) designated Dolly Cifuentes-Villa and Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa remains at large.
“This extradition was a standard global task force effort, using every tool in the law enforcement tool box,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Crowell, “Cops worked together from Colombia to Ecuador and across the United States with one laser focused goal, bringing justice to the front door step of international traffickers dead set on poisoning people in communities they never intend to set foot upon. These organizations expect their drugs and money to travel internationally, and we make sure handcuffs will travel that way as well.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “Today, the DEA has proven once again that we will not rest in our efforts to bring to justice any individual involved in drug trafficking anywhere in the world. The extradition of Cifuentes-Villas is a testimony of what can be accomplished in our fight against drugs, and the positive outcomes resulting from the cooperation of law enforcement authorities here in the United States and in Colombia.”
“As alleged, Dolly Cifuentas-Villa, along with her brother Jorge, was at the center of an international narco-trafficking ring that conspired to import multi ton-quantities of cocaine into the United States,” stated U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “Her extradition marks the first step in the process of bringing her to justice and dismantling a narcotics trafficking organization that flooded our communities with poisonous drugs. Once again, the commitment of international law enforcement to shutting these organizations down is unflagging.”
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said, “As this case demonstrates, the Southern District of Florida and its law enforcement partners, both at home and abroad, remain deeply committed to dismantling large international drug trafficking organizations that seek to import ton-quantities of cocaine through our borders. One by one, we will continue to bring these narco-traffickers to justice, dismantle their organizations, and seize their assets.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk said, “Undeniably, continued effort to reduce demand is part of the solution to this country’s still significant illegal drug problem. Nonetheless, there is no question that the apprehension and extradition of someone responsible for such massive quantities of cocaine will have a major impact on the supply side of the equation. Cocaine trafficking is deadly business not only because the product itself can be lethal. It is also a brutally violent business where guns and murder are ever-present.”
The following allegations are based on the Indictments previously filed in federal court in SDNY and SDFL, as well as other information obtained from public sources.
The New York Charges
From October 2008 through February 2011, Dolly Cifuentes-Villa conspired with others, including her brother and co-defendant, Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa, to import ton-quantities of cocaine into the United States from Colombia, through countries including Mexico. In October 2009, 8.3 tons of cocaine that Dolly Cifuentes-Villa and Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa were attempting to send to Mexico was seized in Ecuador.
Cifuentes-Villa, is charged with one count of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s New Jersey Field Division, the FBI’s New York Field Division, the DEA’s Bogota Country Office, and the DEA’s Quito Country Office. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Colombian National Police and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs for their ongoing assistance. The SDNY case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christian Everdell and Glen Kopp are in charge of the prosecution.
The South Florida Charges
This investigation revealed that the Cifuentes-Villa drug trafficking organization was using sophisticated drug trafficking routes to distribute multi-ton cocaine loads from Colombia through Central America, for ultimate distribution in Mexico and the United States. This investigation led to the filing of charges in SDFL against five individuals on a myriad of federal narcotics and money laundering violations in connection with the drug trafficking organization. They are: Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa; Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes-Villa; Hildebrando Alexander Cifuentes-Villa; Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera; and Otto Javier Garcia-Giron.
More specifically, Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes-Villa was charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute narcotics between 2003 through early 2009, knowing that such substances would be unlawfully imported into the United States, and four substantive counts of manufacturing and distributing narcotics, knowing that such substances would be unlawfully imported into the United States. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard.
Mr. Ferrer thanked the DEA Miami Field Division and the Miami High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) for their extraordinary work in this multi-agency multi-jurisdictional investigation. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the DEA Bogota Country Office, DEA New Jersey Field Division, and the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Financial Asset Control (OFAC), for their coordination and assistance in this matter. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Colombian National Police and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for their ongoing assistance.
If convicted of the charges in SDNY and SDFL, Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes-Villa, 54, faces a possible maximum sentence of up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison in both districts. As part of its extradition request, the United States has previously provided assurances to the government of Colombia that it will not seek a life sentence for the defendant.
The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.