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A Colombian drug kingpin pleaded guilty in New York Wednesday to producing more than 4,500 kilos of cocaine in laboratories in the jungles and exporting most of it to the US.
“I was involved in cocaine trafficking from Colombia all the way up to Costa Rica, and I was aware those drugs may end up in the United States,” Roman Narvaez Ansazoy, 47, admitted through a Spanish interpreter in Brooklyn federal court.
As part of his plea deal, Narvaez agreed to forfeit $20 million in profits — and faces a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life when he’s sentenced.
Narvaez oversaw a sprawling criminal enterprise that manufactured cocaine in the Cauca region from July 2009 to April 2013. He was a top producer of the drug at the time, raking in at least $10 million a year, according to federal prosecutors.
The drugs — nearly 5 tons of them — were transported from jungle labs to port cities on the Pacific Ocean, then by ship to the US.
The route required Narvaez’s couriers to travel through regions controlled by the paramilitary group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC. Narvaez paid leaders of the group, designated a foreign terrorist organization, for safe passage, according to the indictment.
Narvaez was extradited to the US in 2019.
The plea agreement was struck in the same courthouse where Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was tried and sentenced to life in prison for running a massive drug empire that for decades pumped millions of dollars in narcotics into the US.
“My client pleaded guilty because he wants to accept full responsibility for his crime which now occurred many years ago,” said Narvaez’s defense lawyer Alexei Schacht.
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