Two Colombian Nationals Plead Guilty of International Cocaine Distribution
Two Colombian nationals plead guilty to international cocaine distribution, were extradited to the US with a maximum sentence of 40 years and potential fines to pay.
Two Colombians aged 45 and 53 have plead guilty to distributing large quantities of cocaine in the United States. Alfredo Molina Cutiva and Mauricio Mazabel-Soto entered their plea on November 28, 2022, and December 20, 2022, respectively. The hearing for Molina and Mazabel is scheduled for March 31, 2023, and April 23, 2023, respectively, by Judge Amit P. Mehta.
DEA agents started investigating drug traffickers in 2018 and specifically focused on members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
After being investigated, it was discovered that Mazabel-Soto was the one authorizing large-scale production agreements on FARC’s behalf and co-accused Molina-Cutiva was responsible for handling the organization’s drug traffic logistics in Columbia.
It was also noted that Molina-Cutiva was in charge of FARC laboratories in Huila and Caqueta, where cocaine was made and distributed. He also was in charge of transferring cocaine through the Pacific Ocean using Ecuador.
It was discovered that the defendants agreed to produce large quantities of cocaine for a client they believed was representing one of the most established Mexican cartels.
In one of their recorded meetings, the defendants had an agreement where the businessman would invest 2 million dollars for FARC to construct a cocaine laboratory for the cartel to produce cocaine on a large scale.
They agreed to produce the first 1000 kgs for free, then another 1000 kgs of cocaine after a few weeks for 1600 dollars per kilogram. The two promised each kilogram would have designer stamps like the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team rubber stamp.
Mazabel-Soto is also said to provide another individual in Colombia with a sample of cocaine worth 5kg in April 2019 to prove the quality. He received 11,000 dollars for this transaction. Upon testing, the DEA proved that the cocaine was 96% pure.
Later in June 2019, Mazabel-Soto was arrested in Colombia and, in April 2021, extradited to the U.S. The other defendant, Cutiva, was also arrested in August 2019 in Columbia and deported to the U.S. Another culprit called Aldemar-Soto Charry was also arrested in August 2019 but is yet to receive extradition.
Mazabel-Soto and Molina pleaded guilty to planning to distribute more than 1000 kgs of cocaine, with the total quantity representing the amount of each of their criminal conduct. They face a maximum jail term of 40 years with possible fines to pay. A Federal judge will determine their sentence according to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
Their guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Graves and Arellano, DEA’s Acting Regional Director, who acknowledged the effort of those investigating the case.
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