BOGOTA – The suspected leader of a gang that smuggled cocaine into Panama and other Central American countries using speedboats and small fishing vessels has been arrested, the Colombian navy said.
Euripides Cooper Sanchez was arrested on a highway in Meta, a province in central Colombia, after two months of “intense surveillance and tracking” by the navy and the Attorney General’s Office, the navy said in a statement.
Investigators had been after Cooper, who allegedly smuggled up to six tons a year of cocaine out of northern Colombia, for four years.
The drugs supplied by the suspect to the international market “had a value of more than $160 million,” the navy said.
The investigation of Cooper led to the seizure “of more than two tons of cocaine chlorohydrate, the arrests of more than 10 members of his network and the confiscation of several motorboats used to transport the alkaloid,” the navy said.
Cooper faces criminal conspiracy, drug and other charges.