Minor cocaine trafficking suspects extradited from columbia to miami
August 01, 2009
For the past seven years, Alvarro Uribe has complied with the U.S. Government by completing hundreds of requests to extradite Columbian nationals engaged in cocaine trafficking
. The Columbian government has provided cocaine kingpins, such as Gilberto "the Chess Player" Rodriguez and "Don Diego" Montoya to American justice system for prosecution. Rodriquez once headed the infamous Cali Cartel and Montoya once had his own private army in Columbia to assist him with his cocaine trafficking operation. Some Miami criminal lawyers
specialize in extradition defense matters.
Although the Columbian government has assisted in extraditing heads of cocaine organizations, they have also extradited minor players in the cocaine trade to the United States. In one such case, a father and son with the last name Consuergas, also known as, "the banana vendors" were picked up at their home by drug agents and extradited to New York. Once in New York, the father and son entered into pleas, spent a short period of time in the county jail and were returned to Columbia. Their involvement in cocaine trafficking
was minimal at best.
This particular scenario leads many to question why the U.S. government is expending valuable resources such as time and money to extradite the small fish. On average, the Columbian government extradites four suspects a week to the United States. This is more than any other country in the world. The problem lies with the extradition of small to mid-level suspects in the cocaine trafficking trade.
Many critics, such as defense attorneys and government officials are beginning to question the benefit of the Columbia to Untied States extradition
policies currently in place. Arresting suspects on the periphery of the narcotics trade has become almost pointless and certainly a burden on the American taxpayer. The number of low-level suspects being extradited also calls into question whether the Columbia criminal justice system has the ability to handle complex cocaine trafficking cases.
On the other side of the coin, an official in the United States Justice Department claims that extradition is a valuable tool that has aided in taking down some of the most dangerous cocaine traffickers in the world. Although low-level cocaine traffickers do not spend much time in prison, their assistance and cooperation in federal cases has led to several convictions of high-level cocaine traffickers.
U.S. Criticized for Extraditing Minor Columbia Drug Suspects
, The Washington Post, July 31, 2009