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Nine multi-national cocaine traffickers indicted on conspiracy charges

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Reporter | Oct 21, 2022

BROOKLYN, New York – A 10-count indictment accusing nine alleged multi-national cocaine traffickers of conspiracy to distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine by land and by sea was unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The full indictment can be found at


The defendants:

* Diego Fernando Ceron Muñoz, aka “Galleta,” age 36, of Colombia

* Jhon Armando Panta Gutierrez, aka “Gafas,” age 48, of Ecuador

* Carlos Ernesto Angucho Guerrero, aka “Corleone” and “Flaco,” age 40, of Colombia

* Eduard Mauricio Rendon Agudelo, aka “Oz,” age 41, of Colombia

* Clemente Riascos Coral, aka “Pastuso,” age 55, of Colombia

* Luis Fernando Sánchez Isaza, aka “Gym” and “Pechuga,” age 55, of Colombia

* Alejandro Alberto Estupinan Alzate, aka “Porcelana” and “Armitage,” age 43, of Colombia

* Belcy Gomez Murcia, aka “La Senora” and “Jesus,” age 57, of Colombia

* Carlos Adolfo Meza Sanchez, aka “Lechuga” and “Charly,” age unknown, of Ecuador.

The defendants are charged in connection with an international cocaine-distribution conspiracy that resulted in the attempted distribution of thousands of kilograms of cocaine destined for the United States.

Estupiñan Alzate was extradited to the Eastern District of New York from Colombia yesterday. He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes Jr., and ordered detained pending trial.

If convicted, Estupiñan Alzate faces a mandatory term of 10 years to life in prison.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Division, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Michael Alfonso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, New York City Police Department, Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell, and First Deputy Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli of the New York State Police announced the charges.

“As alleged, the defendants’ attempt to traffic thousands of kilograms of cocaine into our communities was stopped by the coordinated cross-border efforts of law enforcement,” Peace said.

“This office is working tirelessly with our international and domestic law enforcement partners to hold these narcotics distributors accountable and dismantle their criminal enterprise.”

Peace expressed his appreciation to the Direccion Antinarcoticos, Unidad Especializada Contra el Trafico de Cocaina and Sensitive Investigative Unit of the Colombian National Police and the Ecuadorian National Police’s Sensitive Investigations Unit for their assistance.

“This investigation shut down a drug pipeline that shipped multi-ton quantities of cocaine from clandestine laboratories in the jungles of Colombia to the streets of the United States,” Tarentino said.

“I commend the men and women in the New York Strike Force, U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, DEA Special Operations Division, DEA Bogota Country Office, and the Colombian National Police for their diligent efforts to intercept and identify the organization responsible for trafficking this significant amount of poison.”

Added Alfonso, the HSI special agent in charge, “HSI, in collaboration with our partners at the New York Strike Force, leverages every resource across the globe to stem the tide of illegal substances into our communities. It’s a direct result of these multi-lateral relationships that law enforcement successfully disrupted the drug trafficking organization’s capability to profit from threatening our public safety.”

“Today’s charges demonstrate that the investigative efforts of New York City law enforcement are far-reaching, precisely focused, and patient,” said Sewell, the NYPD commissioner.

“As long as individuals – wherever they are based – are involved in illegal narcotics trafficking, the NYPD and our partners will relentlessly work to stop the threat to public safety. I commend and thank all of our local, state, and federal colleagues who took part in this New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation for their tireless efforts in building this strong, multinational conspiracy case.”

As alleged in the charging documents, between December 2016 and October 2017, the defendants belonged to an international drug trafficking organization and conspired to coordinate the transportation of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from laboratories in the rural areas of Cauca and Nariño in southwestern Colombia to the Pacific Coast of Colombia and/or Ecuador.

The organization regularly operated in Ecuador, using land routes to transport cocaine from laboratories to the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. To distribute these drugs internationally, the criminal enterprise shipped cocaine via sea vessels, including submarines, in the eastern Pacific Ocean and by land in Central America to Mexico, en route to the United States.

Using intelligence from sources including lawfully intercepted calls and communications, this investigation revealed that these sophisticated criminal co-conspirators operated in multiple countries to coordinate the shipment of thousands of kilograms of cocaine ultimately destined for the United States. As a result of the investigation, law enforcement successfully seized multiple-hundred-kilograms of cocaine traced to this criminal organization.

–Submitted by the office of U.S. Attorney Breon Peace, Eastern District of New York


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