Colombian Cartel Leader Admits Trafficking Narcotics Sold in the United States
NEWARK, NJ—A Colombian cartel leader expelled from Venezuela to face federal charges in New Jersey for his role in an international cocaine distribution conspiracy admitted today in Newark federal court to conspiring traffic the drug into the United States, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford announced.
Colombian national Salomon Camacho Mora, 70, a/k/a “Papa Grande,” a/k/a “El Viejo,” a/k/a “Hector,” was arrested in Valencia, Venezuela, on Jan. 13, 2010, and subsequently expelled by Venezuelan authorities to the United States. Previously, Camacho, who had been designated a Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) by the Department of Justice, was a New Jersey FBI fugitive for more than eight years.
Camacho was originally indicted in September 2002 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He entered a plea of guilty today, to a count of conspiracy contained in a superseding indictment, before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls.
According to statements made during Camacho’s guilty plea proceeding and documents filed in Newark federal court:
Camacho admitted that he and members of his drug organization purchased multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from various cocaine processing laboratories located in Colombia, and arranged for the transportation of the cocaine loads to various shipping ports in Venezuela. Camacho and members of his drug organization then sold the cocaine shipments to other drug trafficking organizations operating in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.
He also acknowledged that others in his organization received and stored the drug shipments in Venezuela, and arranged for their maritime transportation to Puerto Rico and the United States.
The drug trafficking operation generated substantial profits for Camacho and his conspirators.
Camacho faces a statutory mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a statutory maximum of life in prison, and fines of up to $10 million or twice the amount of profits he gained from his illegal conduct. As part of his plea agreement, Camacho has agreed to the entry of a $1.6 million forfeiture money judgment and the forfeiture of eight Colombian properties that were the product of ill-gotten gains. Sentencing is currently scheduled for March 10, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski in Newark; and the New Jersey National Guard Anti-Narcotics Task Force for the investigation.
Fishman also thanked the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs for providing assistance in this matter. Additionally, Fishman thanked the Venezuelan agencies Oficina Nacional Anti Drogas (ONA), Servicio Bolivariano de Intelligencia Nacional, (SEBIN), Servicio Administrativo de identificacion migracion y Extranjeria, (SAIME) and the Colombian law enforcement authorities for their assistance in Camacho’s arrest and deportation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam N. Subervi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.