Narco traffickers caught in Panama
PANAMA. Five members of a Colombian narcotics trafficking organization were arrested on Thursday in Panama on charges of conspiring to ...
PANAMA. Five members of a Colombian narcotics trafficking organization were arrested on Thursday in Panama on charges of conspiring to murder a US DEA Agent stationed in Colombia, and to import methamphetamine into the United States.
After being arrested by Panamanian authorities four Colombian men and one women were expelled to the US for prosecution.
"These arrests demonstrate that the agents and officers who protect all of us from violent criminal organizations and those who traffic in dangerous narcotics do not go in harm's way alone," said DEA Acting Administrator Michelle M. Leonhart.
"Rather, when they themselves are threatened with attack, the entire criminal justice system of the United States and our trusted international partners stand ready to respond to prevent further harm."
According to the complaint unsealed Friday in Manhattan federal court, during discussions in Colombia regarding the purchase of 240 barrels of ephedrine (a precursor to methamphetamine) in May and June 2009, the defendants hatched a plot to murder a suspected DEA informant and the DEA agent assigned to supervise the informant.
One of the Colombians described the DEA agent's vehicle and stated that he and his co-conspirators were going to "erase [the agent and informant] from the map," and that the agent would be the first to die. Unbeknownst to the conspirators, one of the participants in their discussions was a confidential source who was providing information to the DEA's Bogota office.
If convicted, the defendants each faces a maximum term of life in prison for conspiracy to murder a US officer.