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Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

Cuba deports kingpin for extradition to U.S.

February 8, 2007

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— Cuba will deport reputed drug kingpin Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante to Colombia, which plans to extradite him to the United States, a government official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Colombian official said Gomez was expected to arrive in Bogota today and would be held at its heavily fortified chief prosecutor's office compound before being extradited to the United States.

An extradition order has been signed, the official said. He spoke on condition he not be further identified because he was not authorized to divulge the information.

Gomez, an alleged top boss of Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel known by his alias "Rasguno," is wanted on a U.S. indictment in New York on drug trafficking, racketeering and money-laundering charges.

He has been held in Cuba since his 2004 arrest at a Havana airport on charges of carrying a false passport. He had fled Colombia after Washington offered rewards of $5 million each for the South American country's top drug traffickers.

Gomez would be the most senior reputed drug boss extradited to the United States since Cali cartel chief Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela was extradited in March 2005.

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