BOGOTA, (Reuters) – Colombia and the U.S. drug agency have broken an airport drug ring in the world’s No. 1 cocaine producer that sent up to 2 tonnes of cocaine monthly to Mexico and the United States, police said yesterday.
Colombian police supported by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency nabbed 26 suspected traffickers, four of whom are wanted for extradition to the United States, in Colombia’s coastal cities of Barranquilla and Santa Marta as well as Monteria in the northwest and the capital Bogota.
“This structure dedicated to drug trafficking had set up a true mafia company sending aircraft from Colombia to Central America, destined for Mexico and the United States,” said General Oscar Naranjo, head of Colombian police.
“This operation has also led to capture five civil aeronautic officials based in the north coast that facilitated these operations,” he said. The trafficking group, which used the aviation officials to authorize the drug flights, allegedly was headed by Jesus Lopez, alias “My Blood,” who had been part of outlawed, right-wing paramilitary groups, officials said.