LAWFUEL – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special
Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the United States Drug
Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced today the
apprehension in Honduras of JORGE MARIO PAREDES-CORDOVA
(“PAREDES”), designated by the Department of Justice as one of
the world’s most significant drug kingpins.
PAREDES was charged in the Southern District of New
York in 2003 for conspiring to import ton-quantities of cocaine
into the United States, and to distribute the cocaine in the New
York area and elsewhere. The Indictment charges that a single
co-conspirator stored over $25 million in cocaine proceeds in
Guatemala on behalf of PAREDES.
PAREDES has been designated by the Department of
Justice to the Consolidated Priority Organization Target (“CPOT”)
list, a list of the most significant narcotics traffickers in the
world. He remained at large until yesterday, when Honduran
authorities apprehended PAREDES in Honduras. PAREDES, a
Guatemalan national, was presented this afternoon in Miami
Federal Court. He was ordered detained pending his removal to
New York, where he will be arraigned on the charges in the
Indictment before the United States District Judge DEBORAH A.
Mr. GARCIA stated, “The defendant is charged with
conspiring to cause large quantities of narcotics to be brought
into our country and distributed on our streets. Thanks to
international law enforcement cooperation, PAREDES-CORDOVA has
been apprehended and will be brought to justice in the United
“This arrest is representative of international law
enforcement’s goal of identifying and arresting drug traffickers
around the globe,” stated Mr. GILBRIDE.
“Living on borrowed
time, PAREDES-CORDOVA eluded law enforcement for some time until
the consequences of his actions caught up to him.”
The investigation of the PAREDES organization has been
led by the Office’s International Narcotics Trafficking Unit and
the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (which is
comprised of agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement
Administration, New York Police Department and the New York State
Police), with the assistance of DEA offices in Colombia, Mexico,
El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and with the support of the
Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task
Force (“OCDETF”) and Office of International Affairs (“OIA”).
Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding investigative efforts of
the NY Drug Enforcement Task Force, and thanked the Department’s
OCDETF and OIA components for their support.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.