NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Two Colombians have been charged with conspiring to import 1,000 kgs (220 pounds) of cocaine into the United States on behalf of leftist FARC rebels, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said yesterday.
Jose Montes-Ovalles and Maria Castellanos-Poveda were arrested on Thursday in Colombia and charged with acting on behalf of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, between 2006 and 2009, according to an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.
In April, 2006, Montes-Ovalles and Castellanos-Poveda met in Panama with two U.S. undercover drugs agents posing as representatives of the Juarez Cartel, a Mexican drug organization, the indictment said. The defendants told the agents they were “FARC top representatives,” and arranged to import 1,000 kgs of cocaine from airstrips in Venezuela, across the border from Colombia. According to U.S. and Colombian authorities, FARC funds its operations through cocaine trafficking and extortion. It has evolved into the world’s biggest supplier of cocaine, the U.S. indictment said.