High-Level Colombian Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 194 Months in Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 16, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Jose Maria Corredor-Ibague, aka “Boyaco,” a high-level drug trafficker and supporter of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), has been sentenced in Washington, D.C. to serve 194 months in prison. Corredor-Ibague was the first person in the nation to be indicted under the federal narco-terrorism statute, which became law in March 2006.
The sentencing was announced today by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. of the District of Columbia; Michele M. Leonhart, Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Steinbach of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami Special Agent in Charge Alysa D. Erichs; and Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service Southeast Field Office.
“Jose Maria Corredor-Ibague was an international drug lord who moved cocaine around the world through a close, criminal partnership with the FARC,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman. “This narco-terrorism case was the first of its kind. As this 194-month sentence demonstrates, the Justice Department is firmly committed to working with its counterparts to hold accountable anyone who uses narco-trafficking to support, assist, and enable terrorism.”
“This defendant led a drug transportation network that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine to destinations in the United States and other countries, often acting in concert with the FARC terrorist organization,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “He was a leader of a broader conspiracy that engaged in narco-terrorism, and his apprehension, prosecution, and 194-month prison sentence show that law enforcement is committed to combatting drug traffickers and those who provide support to terrorist groups.”
Corredor-Ibague’s sentence was unsealed today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. On Monday, September 9, 2013, Corredor-Ibague, 46, a Colombian National, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler. In addition to his prison term, Corredor-Ibague was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release.
Corredor-Ibague was arrested in Colombia on October 15, 2006. He was extradited to the United States in October 2008 and subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine while knowing and intending that the cocaine would be imported into the United States, one count of narco-terrorism, and one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
According to court documents, Corredor-Ibague was the leader of an extensive drug manufacturing and transportation network that processed and manufactured cocaine in Colombian laboratories and used airplanes to fly multi-hundred kilogram loads of cocaine from clandestine airstrips in Colombia to various countries, including Brazil, Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela. From these countries, which were often used as transshipment points, the cocaine was sent to destinations in the United States and Europe. Corredor-Ibague controlled the clandestine airstrips used by his organization and also owned and operated the laboratories used to manufacture and package the cocaine. Corredor-Ibague and his associates also transported cocaine owned by other drug trafficking organizations, including cocaine belonging to the FARC.
Corredor-Ibague’s drug trafficking activities were conducted with the protection of the FARC. In particular, the FARC’s “First Front” combat group profited from the activities of Corredor-Ibague and his associates. Corredor-Ibague paid taxes to the FARC using U.S. currency and weapons. Additionally, Corredor-Ibague provided material support, assistance, and resources to the FARC, including assault-type weapons, machine guns, ammunition, uniforms, and sophisticated communications equipment. Corredor-Ibague conducted these activities with knowledge that the FARC engaged in terrorist activity and terrorism in Colombia and elsewhere.
“This narco-terrorist illegally exported sophisticated U.S. military weapons and communications equipment to support criminal activities by a designated terrorist organization,” said DCIS Special Agent in Charge Khin. “Joint investigations such as these highlight the success of multi-agency partnerships in protecting America’s national security interests in this region.”
This case was investigated by the DEA, the ICE Miami Field Office, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Southeast Field Office and the FBI Miami Field Office. Additionally, the U.S. government expresses its grateful appreciation to the government of Colombia for their assistance and support during the investigation, arrest, and extradition.
The case was jointly prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Robert Raymond and Jamie Perry of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS); Trial Attorney Glenn Alexander, formerly of NDDS and now with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Asuncion of the District of Columbia; and Trial Attorney David Cora of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided significant assistance in the provisional arrest and extradition of Corredor-Ibague.