Massachusetts Man With Ties To Columbian Cartel Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Distribution
Crime, as does time, marches on. On Tuesday, January 17th, a Massachusetts man pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
According to a media statement from the Department of Justice(DOJ) in Boston, 61-year-old Miguel Colindres of Lowell conspired with members of a well-known Columbia-based criminal organization known as La Oficina de Envigado (La Oficina) to distribute 5 kilos of cocaine.
Around since the 1980s when it(among other things) provided enforcement and collection services for (now deceased) Medellín Cartel leader Pablo Escobar, La Oficina is known today for its alleged involvement in global illegal narcotic trafficking, murder-for-hire, extortion, and other felonious activities.
Court documents allege that co-defendants Fabio de Jesus Yepes Sanchez and Mario Zapata Velez were members of La Oficina who were tasked with collecting a $750,000 drug debt from two cocaine traffickers in Massachusetts.
In addition, Yepes and Zapata allegedly conspired with Colindres and others to obtain five kilograms of cocaine from the Massachusetts traffickers, sell the kilos, and then repatriate the drug proceeds to Colombia to go towards the drug debt.
Colindres was arrested and charged on July 15, 2020, and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on July 21, 2020. On Tuesday, Colindres pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
The DOJ reports that:
The charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million.
The sentencing of Colindres is scheduled for April 24, 2023, as per U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV. For more on the story, check out the Department of Justice's website here.