BOGOTA – Colombian police arrested 11, including the head of an organization that sent heroin using couriers through Mexico to the United States, which has asked for the extraditions of three of its members, the drug enforcement agency said Sunday.
The network broken up had contacts with Mexican cartels that transported the drug to New York across the border between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas.
Among the 11 people captured are Juan Antonio Ducuara, the head of the organization, Carlos Eduardo Cortes, who supervised the links for the shipment and distribution of the drug, and Maria Odilia Machado, a capitalistic partner that maintained contacts with the Mexican cartels.
The extraditions of these three people have been requested by a federal court in New York on drug charges.
The police operation was conducted in the cities of Bogota, Villavicencio and Popayan.
The heroin network started operating in 2007 and transported the drug to Mexico “via the method of ingesting it, as well as by hiding it in garments, portable computer equipment, double-bottomed suitcases and shoes,” police said.
By ingesting the drug, police meant by having people known as “mules” swallow condoms, for instance, filled with the drug, travel to the destination country, and then expel the condoms, after which the drug they contained was collected by contacts there.
The organization bought the heroin in the southwestern part of Colombia and transported it to Bogota in public service vehicles.
In the Colombian capital, they prepared it to be sent to Mexico “where it was received by criminal organizations that sent the shipment on using the border between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso to finally distribute it to the consumer markets in New York,” the drug enforcement agency said.