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Colombia Drug Kingpin Extradited to Miami

December 7, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ A Colombian drug kingpin accused of laundering money and trafficking drugs to Florida was extradited Friday to the United States, officials said.

Victor Patino Fomeque was to appear in court Monday, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

Patino was charged in 2001 with conspiracy to import cocaine and heroin and conspiracy to commit money laundering in the southern district of Florida.

Patino, once a leading member of the former Cali drug cartel, served seven years in a Colombian prison for drug trafficking. Two months after his release, he was arrested in Bogota on a U.S. warrant after a series of bombs hit the Colombian capital.

The Cali cartel once controlled 80 percent of the world’s cocaine trade, taking over after the demise of the Medellin cartel, whose leader, Pablo Escobar, was killed by Colombian police in 1993.

Gilberto Rodriguez Orjuela, the former head of the Cali cartel, walked free from prison in November despite efforts by U.S. and Colombian authorities to find new charges against him.

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