Last week, following a four-week trial, two leaders of a Guatemalan Drug Cartel were convicted in federal court of one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine into the United States. This case is notable because these two individuals were charged for actions that they committed in another country based upon the effect that it caused in the United States. International drug crimes are still an evolving area of law and require the cooperation of multiple countries to operate.
In this particular case, the two leaders were arrested by Guatemalan police pursuant to a U.S. warrant. They were then extradited to the United States to stand trial. The U.S. attorney presented evidence from 1996 to 2009 that illustrated a consistent pattern of the receipt, storage and shipment of cocaine. This organization received cocaine from producers in Columbia and shipped it north to the Sinaloa Cartel and eventually the United States.
This particular gang operated closely with the Sinaloa Cartel and was an integral part of the drug trade. They were responsible for multiple several ton shipments of cocaine over their decades long operation.
If you are the subject of a drug investigation or charges, then you may want to contact an attorney. In many cases, each pill or additional gram of drugs can be an enhancement to your sentence or an additional charge. As seen above, the government takes drug crimes very seriously, especially if you are viewed as a distributor or trafficker. Drug cases can quickly spiral out of control.
Source: Department of Justice, “Leaders of Lorenzana Drug Trafficking Organization Convicted on International Narcotics Trafficking Charges,” Office of Public Affairs, Mar. 23, 2016