News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. Aug. 8, 2014: A 43-year-old Colombian national will spend the next 30 years in prison for conspiring with others to manufacture and distribute cocaine in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz sentenced Diego Perez Henao, a/k/a “Diego Rastrojo,” to 360 months in prison and also ordered that he forfeit $1,000,000 to the United States.
Perez Henao had been indicted by a federal grand jury on February 8, 2011, and previously pleaded guilty on January 24, 2014, to a single count of conspiring with others to manufacture and distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine from 1993 until February 2011, knowing that the cocaine would be imported into the United States.
He also acknowledged that he was involved in the manufacture, investment or shipment of in excess of 81,100 kilograms of cocaine during the timeframe of his conspiracy.
Perez Henao further acknowledged that he controlled numerous armed workers in his organization and used both airplanes and semi-submersibles to ship the cocaine north from South America to points in Central America and Mexico – en route to its eventual destination of the United States.
Perez Henao was captured by Venezuelan authorities in Venezuela on June 3, 2012. The Venezuelan authorities sent Perez Henao to Colombia, which in turn extradited Perez Henao on August 28, 2013, to the United States to face the drug charges.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “Diego Perez Henao, one of the last leaders of the North Valley Cartel, was responsible for smuggling more than 80 tons of cocaine into the United States.”
He used violence and intimidation to line his greedy pockets at the expense of his own people and had no regard for those who would consume this addictive poison,” Trouville said. This “sentencing is a reminder that there is no place to hide, the DEA along with our domestic and international law enforcement partners will continue to pursue and prosecute those who engage in drug trafficking into our borders.”