Colombian Drug Kingpin Gets 40 Years in US Jail
By Dialogo April 27, 2012 A Colombian drug lord extradited to the United States for trial was sentenced on April 25 to 40 years in prison, prosecutors said. A federal jury in New York state found Carlos Patiño Restrepo, alias Patemuro, guilty of three U.S. drug charges on April 5. Judge Leonard Wexler also fined Patiño Restrepo $5 million. Prosecutors said Patiño, 48, worked with the Norte del Valle cartel and sent dozens of tons of cocaine to the lucrative U.S. market in the 1990s until shortly before his arrest in Colombia in 2007. “Patiño controlled the area near Viterbo, Colombia, through bribes to Colombian police and ties to paramilitary groups, such as the Auto Defensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,” prosecutors said in a statement. “In particular, Patiño financed entire regiments, or ‘blocks,’ of the AUC to guard the jungle processing labs where the cocaine was manufactured and safeguard the routes used to transport the narcotics out of the country.” He “ran his cocaine empire with an iron fist, using a terrorist organization for protection and killing of those who stood in his way,” the statement added.