Alleged International Narcotics Trafficker
Aug 9 – (Miami, Fla.) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Brian Crowell, Special Agent-in-Charge, New Jersey Division of the DEA, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Division, announce the extradition of Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes-Villa, a/k/a “La Menor,” 54, of Colombia, from Colombia to the United States to face separate charges in both the Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of New York. She is charged with conspiring to import multi-ton quantities of cocaine into the United States. Cifuentes-Villa 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 yesterday before Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan.
Miami DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “This case proves once again that we will not rest in our efforts to bring to justice to 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.”
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, of the Southern District of Florida, stated, “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.”
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “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. 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.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Crowell, of the New Jersey Field Division, added, “This extradition was a standard global task force effort, using every tool in the law enforcement tool box. 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.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk, of the New York Division, noted, “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 charges announced yesterday in South Florida and New York are the result of a multi-agency multi-jurisdictional investigation that began in 2006 into the activities of Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa, aka “Jota.” As a result of this investigation, Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa and members of his drug trafficking organization, including his sister Dolly De Jesus Cifuentes-Villa, were charged in the Southern District of Florida on November 4, 2010. On March 18, 2011, additional charges against Jorge and Dolly Cifuentes-Villa were unsealed in the Southern District of New York. Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa has been designated 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 De Jesus 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.
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 the Southern District of Florida against five individuals on a myriad of federal narcotics and money laundering violations in connection with the drug trafficking organization. Among those 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 substantives 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 Newark 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.
The New York Charges:
In the Southern District of New York, 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.
According to the indictment previously filed in Manhattan federal court and other information obtained from public sources, from October 2008 through February 2011, Dolly Cifuentes-Villa conspired with others, including her brother and co-defendant, Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa, to import from Colombia ton-quantities of cocaine into the United States, including through Mexico. In October 2009, 8.3 tons of cocaine that Dolly Cifuentes-Villa and Jorge Milton Cifuentes-Villa were attempting to send to Mexico were seized in Ecuador.
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 that Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.