Three Extradited From Colombia to Face Drug Charges
APR 28 -- (San Diego, CA)- April 25, 2008 -- United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that John Jairo Orozco, Hernan Alexander Arango-Sanchez, and Hernan Loaiza-Quintero were arraigned in federal court in San Diego before United States Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler. The defendants were arraigned on indictments handed down March 15, 2007, charging them with drug trafficking offenses. The arraignment follows the defendants’ extradition on April 24, 2008, from Colombia to the United States.
The indictments charge that the defendants did knowingly and intentionally conspire with others to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, intending that the controlled substance would be unlawfully imported into the United States.
The indictments were part of “Operation Jacket Racket,” a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Operations Division coordinated narcotics investigation targeting a large scale Colombian heroin drug trafficking organization with distribution cells in San Diego, New York City and Newark, New Jersey. The investigation also targeted multiple Mexico based heroin transportation cells involved in the importation over an extended period of time of large quantities of heroin into the United States from sources of supply in Colombia. According to the indictments, upon arriving in the United States, the heroin was shipped to either New York or New Jersey, via airports in San Diego, Phoenix, or Las Vegas. A smuggling method used by all the Colombian sources of supply was to sew heroin into the linings of clothing or to conceal it in the linings of suitcases.
“International cooperation is vital to DEA’s success in accomplishing its mission as evidenced by yesterday’s extradition of Hernan Loaiza-Quintero, Hernan Alexander Arango-Sanchez and John Jairo Orazco. These three individuals are responsible for the importation of more than 300 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value in excess of $10 million dollars. Their indictment and extradition are the result of DEA’s and its global law enforcement partners’ commitment to join forces and combine resources to bring drug traffickers to justice,” said Acting DEA Special-Agent-in-Charge William Sherman.
United States Attorney Hewitt praised the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort in the culmination of this investigation. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against major drug trafficking.
The defendants are next scheduled to be in court on April 29, 2008, for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Adler.
Criminal Case No. 07cr0658-WQH
Criminal Case No. 07cr0659-WQH
An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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