Brazil has extradited drug trafficker Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia to the
United States, where he is wanted on murder, racketeering and drug
charges as one of the most powerful leaders of Colombia's cocaine
Brazilian federal police said Friday Ramirez Abadia
was flown from a prison in central Brazil to a region of the Amazon
where he was handed over to U.S. federal agents.
Justice Department says Ramirez Abadia will face federal murder charges
in New York and charges of drug trafficking and money laundering in New
York and Washington.
Brazilian justice officials announced
their approval of Ramirez Abadia's extradition Wednesday, but Brazilian
President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva had the final say on whether the
extradition would go forward.
Brazil's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the extradition in March.
had said that for the extradition to go ahead, the United States had to
promise if Ramirez Abadia is convicted, he will not serve more than 30
years in prison - the maximum sentence allowed under Brazilian law.
as Chupeta (Lollipop), Ramirez Abadia was arrested last August in Sao
Paulo. He is accused of running Colombia's Norte del Valle drug cartel
in the 1990s.
Prosecutors say the cartel shipped about $10
billion worth of cocaine to the United States and ordered the
killings of police and informants in both the United States and
Ramirez Abadia had previously been indicted on federal
drug trafficking charges in Colorado in 1994 and in New York in 1995
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.