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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
February 27, 2006

High-Ranking Colombian Drug Traffickers Sentenced in Miami

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney, Southern District of Florida (SDFL), and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced that Colombian North Valley Cartel cocaine traffickers Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez and Carlos Felipe Toro Sanchez, were both sentenced in the SDFL for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 963.

Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez was sentenced to 262 months imprisonment; 5 years supervised release and a forfeiture of $9.6 million. Carlos Felipe Toro Sanchez was sentenced to 235 months imprisonment; 5 years supervised release and a forfeiture of $6 million. Both defendants were arrested in Colombia on December 29, 2003 by the Colombian National Police. The defendants were subsequently extradited to the SDFL in April and May 2005.

According to court documents, Montoya Sanchez was a high-ranking member of the Colombian-based North Valley Cartel cocaine trafficking organization led by his brother, fugitive co-defendant Diego Montoya Sanchez. Diego Montoya Sanchez is on the FBI's list of ten most wanted fugitives. Court records revealed that Montoya Sanchez was responsible for overseeing the operations of the organization's cocaine laboratories. Up until the time of his arrest, Montoya Sanchez continued to operate as a high-ranking manager of the Montoya drug organization.

According to court documents, Toro Sanchez started working in the Montoya cocaine laboratories in 1993, under the supervision of his cousin, Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez. Eventually, Toro Sanchez developed his own drug trafficking routes. Toro Sanchez continued to participate in the export of multi-ton maritime shipments of cocaine to the United States until his arrest.

"The arrest, extradition and guilty pleas of Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez and Carlos Felipe Toro Sanchez are a victory for law enforcement, both in the United States and Colombia," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. "I would like to thank our partners in Colombia for their efforts in helping us pursue justice regardless of international borders."

United States Attorney Acosta stated, "The North Valley Drug Cartel has for years exported drugs and violence to the United States and the international community. The dismantling of these types of international narcotics organization must remain a top priority for south Florida. This case is an example of the successes we can achieve through continued international cooperation." Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, FBI and Internal Revenue Service, as well as the United States Marshal's Service and the Colombian law enforcement authorities.


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