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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
March 6, 2003

Colombian Nationals Extradicted To Detroit On Heroin Trafficking Charges

Detroit, MI- On March 6, 2003, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Jeffrey C. Collins and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Detroit Special Agent in Charge Michael A. Braun announced the extradition of Colombian Nationals Maria GLADYS SANDOVAL and Orlando REINOSA-CASTRILLON to Detroit on heroin trafficking charges. Sandoval and Reinosa-Castrillon were indicted on federal narcotics violations by a grand jury on March 4, 2000.

A total of seven members of this heroin organization were arrested for conspiring to transport and distribute multiple kilograms of high purity heroin from Colombia to the Detroit, Michigan area. This organization utilized couriers who would swallow the heroin to smuggle it into the United States or transport it secreted in girdles, wallets and shoes. Provisional arrest warrants were issued from the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan for Sandoval and Reinosa-Castrillon following their indictment. Reinosa-Castrillon was arrested in Panama living under an assumed name and extradited to Detroit on September 27, 2002. Sandoval was ultimately arrested in Colombia in August 2001 and extradition proceedings began. Sandoval was extradited and is due to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge in Detroit on March 6, 2003. These extraditions are a major accomplishment in stemming the flow of South American heroin into the Detroit area.

"The DEA is extremely grateful to the Government of Colombia for their cooperation in extraditing these defendants to Detroit to face a host of significant drug trafficking charges. We are also grateful to the United States Attorneys Office in Detroit and the DEA in Bogota, Colombia for their continued support in making sure that the highest level of narcotics traffickers face justice in an American court," said Michael A. Braun, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Detroit Field Division.

U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Collins commended the Drug Enforcement Administration in Detroit for its efforts in not only investigating this heroin organization, but also in assisting in the extradition process. Attorney Collins noted the importance of cooperation between the United States and Colombia in combating international drug trafficking.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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