Lowell Man Sentenced for Cocaine Conspiracy Tied to Colombian Organized Crime Organization
BOSTON – A Lowell man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for conspiring to distribute cocaine.
Miguel Colindres, 61, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In January, Colindres pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Colindres was arrested and charged on July 15, 2020 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on July 21, 2020.
Colindres conspired with members of La Oficina de Envigado (La Oficina), a criminal organization based in Medellín, Colombia to distribute five kilograms of cocaine. La Oficina originated in the 1980s when its members provided enforcement and collection services for the Medellín Cartel, including deceased Medellín Cartel leader Pablo Escobar. Today, La Oficina is allegedly involved in international narcotics trafficking, drug debt collection, money laundering, extortion and murder for hire.
It is alleged that co-defendants Fabio de Jesus Yepes Sanchez and Mario Zapata Velez were members of La Oficina who were tasked with collecting a $750,000 drug debt from two cocaine traffickers in Massachusetts. It is further alleged that Colindres conspired with Yepes, Zapata and others, to obtain five kilograms of cocaine from the Massachusetts traffickers, sell those kilograms, and then repatriate the drug proceeds to Colombia, in partial satisfaction of the outstanding drug debt.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance in the investigation was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department; Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; and the Government of Colombia. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren A. Graber and Jared C. Dolan of Rollins’ Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.