June 23, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (571) 262-2887
Seventeen Alleged Leaders And Associates Of CLAN USUGA Indicted In Brooklyn And Miami
Part of coordinated strike against Colombia’s largest and most influential drug trafficking and armed BACRIM criminal group
MIAMI - Today, United States Department of (DOJ) announce the unsealing of five indictments in U.S. federal courts in Brooklyn, New York and Miami, Florida charging 17 alleged leaders and associates of Colombia’s largest and most influential (banda criminal or criminal group), CLAN (formerly referred to as Los Urabeños). The alleged leaders and other high-ranking members of CLAN USUGA are charged with operating continuing criminal enterprises, participating in international cocaine trafficking conspiracies, and using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. CLAN USUGA and many of its principal leaders have been previously designated by the President of the U. S. and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control as specially designated narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. The U.S. Department of State has posted a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of alleged CLAN USUGA principal leader Dairo Antonio Usuga David, also known as Otoniel.
Six of the CLAN USUGA leaders were charged in both Brooklyn and Miami. Dairo Antonio Usuga-David, also known as “Otoniel,” “Mao,” “Gallo,” and “Mauricio-Gallo,” is alleged to be the principal leader of CLAN USUGA. Roberto Vargas Gutierrez, also known as “Gavilan,” Carlos Alberto Moreno Turberquia, also known as “Nicolas,” Aristides Manuel Mesa Paez, also known as “El Indio,” and Cesar Daniel Anaya Martinez, also known as “Tierra,” are alleged commanders of CLAN USUGA responsible for collecting drug taxes, managing armed combatants, and maintaining control over specific territorial areas within Colombia. Also charged in Brooklyn and Miami is an alleged manager of CLAN USUGA, Ramiro Caro Pineda, also known as “Nolasco,” who was in charge of collecting drug taxes, coordinating drug shipments, and maintaining control over airstrips and ports on the coast of Colombia.
The Brooklyn indictments also charge seven other cartel leaders, including Daniel Rendon-Herrera, also known as “Don Mario,” the original founder and prior leader of CLAN USUGA; Luis Orlando Padierna Pena, also known as “Inglaterra,” and Jobanis de Jesus Avila Villadiego, also known as “Chiquito” and “Chiquito Malo,” commanders of CLAN USUGA; and Jhoni Alberto Grajales, also known as “Guajiro,” Orlando Gutierrez-Rendon, also known as “Negro Orlando,” Gustavo Palomino Araujo, also known as “Camilo,” and Eduard Fernando Cardoza-Giraldo, also known as “Boliqueso” - alleged leaders of drug collections offices and paramilitary armed groups aligned with CLAN USUGA.
A Miami indictment unsealed today, United States v. Dairo Antonio Usuga-David, et. al., 15 CR 20403-WPD, charges Dairo Antonio Usuga-David, also known as “Otoniel,” “Mao,” and “Mauricio,” Jairo De Jesus Durango Restrepo, also known as “Gua Gua,” Roberto Vargas Gutierrez, also known as “Gavilan,” Aristides Manuel Mesa Paez, also known as “El Indio,” Alverio Feo Alvarado, also known as “Benevides,” Oscar David Pulgarin-Ganan, also known as “Nino” and “Coroso,” Ramiro Caro-Pineda, also known as “Nolasco” and “Hugo,” Cesar Daniel Anaya Martinez, also known as “Tierra,” and Eduardo Luis Vargas Gutierrez, also known as “Pipon,” with conspiring to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing that it would be imported into the United States. Specifically, the defendants are charged with the distribution from as early as 2002 through June 2015, in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and elsewhere.
According to a previously unsealed superseding indictment out of Miami, United States v. Lopez Londono, et. al., 10 CR 20763 - (DE 9), beginning around October 2006 through February 10, 2012, defendants Henry De Jesus Lopez Londono, also known as “Mi Sangre,” “Salvador,” “Carlos Mario,” “Brother,” “Krackin,” and “Federico,” Jhon Fernando Giraldo Usuga, also known as “Simon,” and “Revenlino,” Arley Usuga Torres, also known as “07,” “Siete,” and “Samuel,” Jose Carlos Londono Robledo, also known as “Tito” and “Wolverine,” Carlos Antonio Moreno Tuberquia, also known as “Nicholas,” Edison Gomez Molina, also known as “El Doctor,” and Juan Diego Giraldo Usuga, also known as “Menor” and “Camilo,” are charged with conspiring to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine knowing that it would be imported into the United States. Gomez Molina, Giraldo Usuga, and Fernando Usuga pleaded guilty to the superseding indictment on November 26, 2013, March 20, 2014, and May 8, 2014, (DE 72, 98, 110). According to their stipulated factual (DE 74, 101, 112), from at least October 2006 through February 2012, Gomez Molina, Giraldo Usuga, and Fernando Usuga, along with others, used airplanes and other means of transportation to ship multiple loads of cocaine from Colombia to Central America. The loads ranged anywhere from 300 to 600 kilograms each. From there, the cocaine would be delivered to representatives of other organizations, who would take the cocaine and ultimately import it into the United States. Each defendant admitted that he was responsible for the shipment or attempted shipment of at least 150 kilograms of cocaine and knew that the cocaine would ultimately be imported into the United States. Gomez Molina was sentenced to 63 months in prison on February 4, (DE 90). Girlado Usuga was sentenced to 63 months’ imprisonment on June 9, (DE 124). Fernando Usuga was sentenced to 168 months’ imprisonment on August 29, (DE 139).
In another Miami indictment, United States v. Victor Alfonso Mosquera Perez, 14 CR 20332 - Moore/(DE 1), Victor Alfonso Mosquera Perez, also known as “Negro,” is charged with conspiring to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing that it would be imported into the United States. Specifically, the distribution allegedly occurred from as early as 2008 until approximately May 9, 2014, in Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.
According to another indictment, United States v. Andres Fernandez Perez-Restrepo, 14 CR 20333 - Ungaro/Otazo-(DE 1), Andres Fernandez Perez-Restrepo, also known as “Anthrax,” is charged with conspiring to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing that it would be imported into the United States. Specifically, the defendant is alleged to have committed the distribution from at least as early as July 2012 through March 2, 2014, in Colombia, Honduras, and elsewhere.
As detailed in one of the Brooklyn indictments, United States v. Usuga-David et al., 14 CR (S-2) (DLI), between June 2003 and December 2014, Usuga-David, Vargas Gutierrez, Moreno Turberquia, Padierna Pena, Avila Villadiego, Anaya Martinez, and others, as leaders of CLAN USUGA, conspired to import more than 73 metric tons of cocaine into the United States. CLAN USUGA coordinated the production, purchase, and transfer of multi-ton shipments of cocaine, as well as the receipt of shipments of cocaine in Mexico and Central America, for ultimate importation into the United States. CLAN USUGA also controlled territory in various areas in Colombia and imposed a tax on any drug traffickers operating in those territories - a set fee for every kilogram of cocaine that was manufactured, stored, or transported through areas under their control. The indictment further alleges that these defendants employed sicarios, or hitmen, who carried out acts of violence including murders, assaults, kidnappings, and assassinations to collect drug debts, maintain discipline, control and expand drug territory, and to promote and enhance the position of the organization.
In a second of the indictments unsealed in Brooklyn, United States v. Gutierrez-Rendon, 14 CR (CBA), Orlando Gutierrez-Rendon, also known as “Negro Orlando,” is charged with leading the Gutierrez-Rendon drug trafficking organization, a cocaine trafficking and cocaine-debt collection organization based in Cali, Colombia that was aligned with CLAN USUGA. According to the indictment, the Gutierrez-Rendon’s organization was involved in multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico, El Salvador, and Panama for ultimate importation into the United States. The organization is also alleged to have acted as a collection agency, using violence and murder to collect payments and outstanding debts related to cocaine shipments on behalf of CLAN USUGA. In exchange for its role in collecting funds, the organization received ownership interests in the cocaine shipments. Gutierrez-Rendon is also charged with conspiring to murder rival drug traffickers, including the murder of Samir Garcia. Between January 2006 and May 2013, Gutierrez-Rendon allegedly imported more than 30,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States.
In a third Brooklyn indictment, United States v. Palomino-Araujo, 15 CR (CBA), Gustavo Palomino Araujo, also known as “Soldado,” “Zarco,” and “Camilo,” is charged with leading the Palomino Araujo, an organization responsible for cocaine trafficking, cocaine-debt collection, and a paramilitary organization based in Cali, Colombia that was aligned with CLAN USUGA. The organization allegedly facilitated the transfer of multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and Central America for importation into the United States, controlled territory in various areas in Colombia, imposed a tax on any drug traffickers operating in regions under its control, and employed sicarios, or hitmen, to collect debts. Palomino Araujo is also charged with conspiring to murder numerous drug rivals.
In the fourth Brooklyn indictment, United States v. Cardoza-Giraldo, 15 CR (KAM), Eduard Fernando Cardoza-Giraldo, also known as “Boliqueso,” is charged with international cocaine trafficking in connection with his role in controlling a drug debt collection office aligned with CLAN USUGA.
In all, 25 individuals have been charged in the investigations coordinated between the U.S. Attorneys’ (USAO) in Brooklyn and Miami. All of the defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the charges against them. Certain individuals named in indictments unsealed today have also been charged by other USAOs around the country. These cases are the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami Field Division, New York Field Division, and the Bogota Country Office, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security (HSI) New York El Dorado Task Force, and the Colombian National Police. Special thanks for the invaluable assistance provided by the Colombian Fiscalia General and the U.S. DOJ, Office of International Affairs.
The cases in Brooklyn are being prosecuted by the USAO for the Eastern District of New York, International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.
The cases in Miami are being prosecuted by the USAO for the Southern District of Florida, Narcotics Section.
An indictment is a formal charging document notifying the defendant of the charges. All persons charged in an indictment are presumed innocent until proven guilty.