The United States Justice Department took credit for the successful prosecution of one of the most notorious cocaine trafficking kingpins. Jorge Mario Paredes-Cordova was sentenced to 31 years in prison for his involvement in armed cocaine trafficking that was allegedly responsible for importing tons of cocaine into the United States. Paredes attempted to fight the charges at jury with assistance of an excellent criminal defense law firm, but was nonetheless convicted after a several week trial.
Federal authorities alleged that Paredes was the leader of a Guatemalan drug trafficking organization. His organization purportedly received tons of cocaine from Columbia and Mexican and imported the illegal narcotic into the United States. Paredes worked with other notorious drug trafficking kingpins from Mexico and Columbia. After a lengthy investigation, federal drug enforcement agencies gathered enough evidence to indict the defendant after seizing one and a half tons of cocaine. Paredes was facing life in prison because the cocaine trafficking operations were conducted by armed members of his organization. Courts documents alleged that members of his organization would use boats occupied with escorts carrying machine guns and various other firearms to pick up the cocaine at sea.
Paredes was on the run for several years and was nearly untouchable as he was always surrounded by armed guards. He is alleged to have prevented seizures of his shipments by paying off public officials from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Paredes was eventually arrested in Honduras in 2008 while living under an assumed identity. The extradition treaty between Honduras and the United States allowed for him to be transported back to the U.S. to stand trial. The Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting case thanked the efforts of the DEA and other law enforcement agencies for putting one of the most dangerous drug trafficking kingpin behind bars for 31 years.
The case shows that the "war on drugs" is alive and well in the United States. The federal government has become more efficient and effective in rounding up drug traffickers who ship marijuana and cocaine into the United States, but never step foot on U.S. soil until it is time to face federal drug trafficking charges. Despite the efforts and money spent to capture and incarcerate foreign drug lords, it is apparent that others remain to carry on the drug trade out of South and Central America. If you or someone you know is being extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges or has just been charged in the Miami or South Florida area with cocaine trafficking, marijuana trafficking, ecstacy trafficking or even oxycodone trafficking, it is imperative to hire a criminal defense law firm with vast experience in defending these types of cases both in state and federal court. Whether charged in state or federal court, individuals are facing long prison sentences and hefty fines if convicted of any of the aforementioned charges.
Guatemalan Drug Kingpin Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 31 Years for Leading Massive Armed Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy, Rushprnews.com, April 19, 2010.