Colombian drug lord 'Otonil' sentenced to 45 years in US

Usuga, 51, pleaded guilty earlier this year to cocaine trafficking charges and is the leader of the Gulf gang, Colombia's largest drug cartel.

Usuga, known as “Otoniel”, was extradited from Colombia to the United States last year.

pleaded guilty in January to operating a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to use drugs at sea and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry sentenced Usuga to 45 years in prison for each count, with one serving.


Usuga agrees to serve 20 years in prison as part of his $216 million pardon request.

Prosecutors described Usuga as "the most violent and largest Colombian drug dealer since Pablo Escobar" and accused him and the Gulf family of illegally transporting at least 73 tons to the U.S. between 2003 and 2012 cocaine.

4 Daily World News AM


"Otoniel led one of the largest cocaine trafficking organizations in the world, smuggled large quantities of cocaine into the US and ordered the brutal killing of Colombian police officers, military officers and Civilians," General Merrick Garland issued a statement after the decision.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said the long sentence "sends a message to other warlords and drug cartels that the United States wants to capture and bring them to our criminal courts to face charges."

Usuga was Colombia's most wanted man until his capture in October 2021 following a major military operation in the west of the country.

With 6,000 members, the Gulf Gang is one of the largest drug suppliers in the world, according to the US Department of Justice.


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