Former Colombia drug kingpin pleads guilty to trafficking, terrorist support

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Colombian National Police escort cause lord Daniel Rendon Herrera (C), alias "Don Mario", astatine the subject airdrome of Catam successful Bogota. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - A antheral erstwhile considered Colombia's astir wanted cause lord pleaded blameworthy connected Tuesday to U.S. charges of narcotics organisation and supporting a violent radical arsenic portion of a billion-dollar cocaine empire.

U.S. authorities said Daniel Rendon Herrera, 56, accepted work for trafficking astatine slightest 73,645 kilograms (81 tons) of cocaine that dispersed addiction and decease successful his location state and the United States.

Prosecutors said the suspect was besides person of a radical known arsenic the Urabenos on with Dairo Antonio Usuga, an alleged Colombian cause kingpin known arsenic Otoniel who was captured past period successful what officials successful Colombia called a blow to trafficking.

Herrera, known arsenic Don Mario, entered his plea earlier U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry successful Brooklyn. He was charged successful the United States with shipping cocaine to U.S. territory, and buying weapons for paramilitary fighters helium commanded.

"I associated with different radical to cod taxes for the proscription of coke which was coming to the United States," Rendon Herrera told Irizarry done an interpreter.

The suspect faces up to beingness successful situation and a mandatory minimum condemnation of 20 years, and much than a combined $47 cardinal successful forfeiture and a fine.

Rendon Herrera wasarrested successful the Colombian jungle successful 2009, and was extradited to the United States successful 2018. He had antecedently pleaded not guilty.

Irizarry said Rendon Herrera volition apt beryllium deported due to the fact that of his plea, and whitethorn beryllium credited astatine sentencing for clip spent successful Colombian jails.

Prosecutors said helium faces sentences successful Colombia for convictions related to cause trafficking, weapons violations and "numerous" homicides.

Usuga, 50, yet roseate to pb the Urabenos, besides known arsenic the Clan del Golfo. Bogota has pledged to swiftly extradite Usuga to the United States to look cause trafficking charges there. work much

Reporting by Luc Cohen Editing by Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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