By NAN Contributor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. July 28, 2016: A Colombian-born narco king pin who worked with two Colombian terrorist organizations to manufacture and distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine per year, and laundered tens of millions of dollars in drug proceeds will spend the next 35 years of his life behind bars in the U.S.
Daniel Barrera Barrera, also known as “Loco Barrera,” was sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court this week by U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods for massive cocaine conspiracy for his role in conspiring to distribute and manufacture cocaine knowing that it would be imported into the United States.
In addition to the prison sentence, Barrera, 48, was sentenced to five years of supervised release. The Court further ordered Barrera to pay a $10,000,000 fine.
Barrera was also sentenced by Judge Woods on one count of conspiring to launder money, as charged in a superseding indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York, and on one count of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and one count of conspiring to manufacture and distribute cocaine knowing that it would be unlawfully imported into the United States, as charged in a superseding indictment filed in the Southern District of Florida.
For decades, Barrera manufactured hundreds of tons of cocaine annually in Colombia and trafficked it to various parts of the world, including the United States, and laundered tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from that narcotics trafficking activity.
In March 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Barrera as a “Special Designated Narcotics Trafficker,” pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Barrera was arrested in Venezuela on September 18, 2012. Thereafter, he was sent to Colombia, from where the United States sought and obtained Barrera’s extradition. Barrera was extradited from Colombia to the Southern District of New York on July 9, 2013.
From 1998 until 2010, Barrera ran a cocaine manufacturing and trafficking syndicate out of Colombia. Barrera purchased the raw cocaine base or paste from the designated terrorist group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “FARC”). The FARC, which has been dedicated to the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Government of Colombia, has been the world’s largest supplier of cocaine and has engaged in bombings, massacres, kidnappings, and other acts of violence within Colombia.
After purchasing the raw cocaine base from the FARC, Barrera converted the raw cocaine into powder at laboratories he owned and operated in an area of Colombia controlled by the since demobilized terrorist group, Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (the “AUC”). For years, the AUC’s main political objective was to defeat the FARC in armed conflict, and it financed its terrorist activities through the proceeds of cocaine trafficking in AUC-controlled regions of Colombia. At the time of Barrera’s criminal conduct, the FARC and the AUC were both designated by the U.S. Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
After processing the cocaine powder in his laboratories, Barrera arranged for the shipment and transportation of the cocaine powder to locations on four continents, including the United States. Although Barrera purchased raw materials for cocaine production from the FARC, he was able to maintain his network of cocaine-processing laboratories in AUC-controlled territory, in part by paying monthly “taxes” to the AUC. The fees Barrera paid to the AUC also allowed him to move the processed cocaine safely through and out of Colombia.
Barrera additionally protected his massive cocaine shipments by regularly directing acts of violence and intimidation, including ordering many murders. In order to support this violent protection of his drug trafficking, Barrera traded cocaine for hundreds of AK-47 rifles to arm his security forces and take control of the rural areas of Colombia where his drug laboratories were located.
Each month, Barrera processed approximately 5,000 kilograms of raw cocaine base into about the same amount of cocaine powder, resulting in approximately 60,000 kilograms of cocaine annually and approximately 720,000 kilograms during the course of the conspiracy. In total, Barrera reaped tens of millions of dollars of profits from cocaine trafficking, which he laundered through illicit means.