Colombian drug trafficker Salomon Camacho Mora has been sentenced. He is to spend 11 years in a United States penitentiary. Known locally as “Papa Grande,” meaning Big Daddy, and “El Viejo,” meaning Old Man, the drug lord is suspected of bringing tons of cocaine into the United States.
After years of successfully evading capture, Camacho was arrested in Valencia, Venezuela, on January 13, 2010. He was subsequently expelled by Venezuelan authorities to the United States and had been on trial for his crimes of trafficking large amounts of cocaine into the country. Camacho was originally indicted in 2002 but remained a fugitive until he was captured in Venezuela in January 2010, reported Cubic Lane.
Salomon Camacho Mora, 71, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark, New Jersey. He was in the custody of the U.S. for quite some time and had pleaded guilty about 15 months back. Besides being ordered to spend 11 years in a federal jail, Camacho has also been ordered to forfeit $1.6 million, reported First Post. Eight properties in Colombia that belong to the drug lord are expected to be seized.
Besides being called Papa Grande and El Viejo, Salomon Camacho Mora is also known as “Salo,” “El Patron,” “Solomon Camacho,” and “Hector Anibal Montoya.” He is one of the senior leaders from Colombia who has been trafficking narcotics for a very long time. He was one of the key members of the Guajira cartel. The cartel is one of the biggest and still operates on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Besides transporting and trafficking narcotics, the group’s activities include extortion and killings.
Speaking about the group, Congressman Freddy Bernal had once said, “If we talk about the South Lake area, near the border with Colombia, there fungen two big bands, the band of Melean, and the band of Leal, are associated with the Guajira cartel in Colombia and paramilitary gangs. They are smuggling extraction gasoline, food extraction, control smuggling liquor and cigarettes in the Caribbean islands, and also running extortion and kidnapping, there is associated in Colombian paramilitaries and organized crime with common criminals, It is a mafia structure.”
Bernal added, “The transculturation of paramilitarism is that organized crime has facades as drug sales, extortion, kidnapping, and go ‘liberating’ territories and through extortion accumulate large amounts of money, hired gunmen and armed small armies individuals.”
As per the court documents, Camacho admitted that he and members of his drug organization purchased multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from processing laboratories located in Colombia and arranged for the transportation of the cocaine to various shipping ports in Venezuela, reported Sports Act. Once the consignments arrived, they were carefully graded, and the sorted cocaine was eventually distributed to drug trafficking organizations operating in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. Incidentally, there’s a long chain of distributors and resellers of the drug and the cocaine changes multiple temporary owners before it reaches the end-user.
Like multiple drug lords operating from Colombia and Venezuela, Salomon Camacho Mora hoarded cocaine in large quantities and arranged for maritime transport to Puerto Rico and the United States. Multiple shipments have been intercepted at sea, but it is still a very popular route since patrolling the vast seas is a daunting job and often their sophisticate sea vessels slip past the guards.
Salomon Camacho Mora was a New Jersey FBI fugitive for more than eight years and was sued in Florida since 1991 for drug trafficking. The State Department had offered a $5 million reward for his capture. As per official records, Camacho moved about 10 tons of cocaine to the United States between 1999 and 2000 alone, reported Yahoo News.
[Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]