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Colombia drug kingpin charged

2011-06-07 18:04

New York - An alleged Colombian drug kingpin and nine associates have been indicted in a New York federal court with dealing 25 000kg of cocaine and money laundering, officials said on Tuesday.

Nine alleged members of the paramilitary "Los Rastrojos" gang are in custody in Colombia and awaiting extradition to the United States, said Robert Nardoza, a spokesperson for the US prosecutor's office in Brooklyn, New York.

The leader, Javier Antonio Calle Serna, also known as "Comba," is on the run, Nardoza said.

According to the indictment, "Los Rastrojos" has partnered with Mexican drug cartels since about 2004 in shipping tons of Colombian cocaine to the United States via Mexico, Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

Calle Serna is charged with operating a criminal enterprise and with murder. His property and assets have been frozen.

"This indictment is the result of an ongoing international effort to dismantle narcotics trafficking organisations that export cocaine from Central and South America into the United States," said US Attorney Loretta Lynch.