Former Venezuelan official, charged in narco-terrorism conspiracy, is arrested in Spain, US Justice Department says

Carvajal Barrios, 61, was indicted final yr in the Southern District of New York, for allegedly collaborating in a narco-terrorism conspiracy and a conspiracy to import cocaine into the US, together with a 5.6-ton cargo of cocaine transported from Venezuela to Mexico in April 2006. He additionally faces associated firearms offenses.

The former head of Venezuela’s army intelligence had been beforehand charged in the SDNY with the identical crimes in 2019 and in 2011 on conspiracy to import cocaine costs, in keeping with the US State Department.

The Spanish National Court authorized his extradition to the US in 2019, and he remained a fugitive pending extradition till his arrest on Thursday, in keeping with the US Justice Department.

His lawyer María Dolores Argüelles informed CNN on Friday that her shopper pleads not responsible to the costs for which the United States requests his extradition, and for that purpose, she’s going to current precautionary measures earlier than Spain’s Supreme Court to stop the extradition from being efficient.

Argüelles added that past the assets and measures they current, the extradition can’t be made efficient till an asylum process that Carvajal has had open in Spain for the reason that second quarter of 2019 is resolved.

Finding Carvajal Barrios was a problem since he hid his identification by present process varied beauty surgical procedures to switch his look, in keeping with a press launch from Spain’s National Police.

He additionally used totally different sorts of disguise components, together with mustaches, beards and false wigs, to hide himself.

Carvajal Barrios was lastly discovered after months of a joint investigation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Police added.

He had overseen Venezuela’s army intelligence unit from 2004 to 2011 throughout Hugo Chavez’s administration, and once more between April 2013 and January 2014, in keeping with the US State Department.

The US accused Carvajal Barrios of helping leftist rebels in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a US-designated overseas terrorist group, with narcotics trafficking.

The FARC fashioned in 1964 with the goal to overthrow the Columbian authorities. For greater than 50 years, the insurgency engaged in authorities assaults, bombings, homicide, extortion and high-profile kidnappings.

In 2016, the Columbian authorities reached a peace deal with some in the guerrilla group, which disbanded and shifted to politics. Others moved fighters and operations to components of western Venezuela underneath the safety of Venezuelan regime officers.
Carvajal Barrios was amongst these charged with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro by the Trump administration final yr for narco-terrorism and different legal costs.

“For more than 20 years, Maduro and a number of high-ranking colleagues allegedly conspired with the FARC, causing tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities,” then-Attorney General William Barr mentioned in a press release.

CNN’s Laura Smitherman and Rachel Clarke contributed to this report.

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