Colombians accused in NY as FARC cocaine brokers

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.

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