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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Colombian Drug Lord Vanishes After Conviction in the US!

Is this foul ball indicative that the Mexican infrastructural corruption virus has now taken root in our federal government? No way, Jose. We have congressional oversight mandates! It can never happen here… hmmm …. what’s wrong with this picture? 

Maybe the NAU can create a regional drug enforcement agency? That should take care of it.  Got it covered with a bigger government. Problem solved. See, you don't need a V8 afterall.

A major Colombian drug trafficker who willingly sought extradition to the United States—even offering a $40 million bribe to officials in Brazil to send him to the US—apparently knew what he was doing. After being extradited and convicted in Federal Court in New York of felony drug charges that could have put him in jail for life, he disappeared.

His name is Juan Carlos Ramirez-Abadia (nickname: Lollipop). He's a figure in the recent scandal over the President of Costa Rica’s use of a drug plane belonging to Gabriel Morales Fallon, who was identified as one of his former lieutenants.

Juan Carlos Abadia's extradition to the US from Brazil in 2008 received major media coverage.The DEA was calling him the biggest drug cartel boss since Pablo Escobar. They say he led the world’s biggest drug cartel, exporting more than 500 tons of cocaine—worth in excess of $10 billion—just to the United States alone.

His name was in the news again several months later, when he asked (citing claustrophobia) to be placed in a bigger detention cell while awaiting trial in New York.

But when he pled guilty in March of 2010 to felony counts of drug trafficking and racketeering, not one newspaper in America carried the story. His conviction went completely unreported. The DEA didn't didn’t even issue a press release.

It was as if, when Pablo Escobar was gunned down in Colombia, the story didn't make the news.

Where is "My Boy Lollipop?"

Court documents indicate Abadia was sentenced to 25 years in Federal prison. But a search of the prisoner locater at the Federal Bureau of Prisons website does not list his name as among those currently incarcerated.

The Assistant US Attorney in charge of the Abadia case, Carolyn Pokorny, declined to comment on his whereabouts.  

And that’s where the trail ends, at least for the moment.

Another anomaly: There is no record of his sentencing.  Among the official court documents available through PACER is a transcript of a hearing held before the court accepted Abadia’s guilty plea, to ensure he understood his rights, and was pleading guilty voluntarily. There is a binding 9-page forfeiture agreement. Abadia agreed to forfeit $10 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) in currency and property to the US Government.  There is also an order by 

District Judge Sandra Townes accepting his guilty plea.

But—more than two years later—there is no record of his being sentenced. Whether the discrepancy concerns missing documents, years-long deferred sentencing, or some other cause is unknown at this time.