Suspected Colombian cartel leader secretly flown out of Costa Rica on DEA plane

January 26, 2015
The Tico Times
Suspected Colombian drug cartel leader Joel Jermain Branford sits on a DEA plane in Costa Rica awaiting extradition to the U.S. on Jan. 21, 2015. The Tico Times

Suspected Colombian drug cartel leader Joel Jermain Branford was quietly extradited to the United States from Costa Rica last week, where he is wanted on international drug trafficking charges, an official at Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office confirmed on Monday.

Branford, a Panamanian national suspected of leading the Norte del Valle drug cartel in Colombia, was flown out of San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport in the early morning hours of Jan. 21 on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plane, the official said.

Branford had been traveling from Spain to Panama, with a layover in Costa Rica, when he was arrested in April 2014.

The Costa Rican official said extreme security measures were required in the extradition operation, and no statement was released to the press at the time.

“It’s a very important case, as are all extradition cases,” said Laura Monge of Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office. “It was a very well-coordinated operation.”

Branford was escorted to the airport outside San José by agents of Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police and Interpol and handed over to DEA agents. He will by tried in U.S. federal court in the state of New York on international drug trafficking charges.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Costa Rica
567 views

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Jan. 21, 2019.

Alexander Villegas - January 21, 2019

An attack in Nicaragua, our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive and a new Sele squad. These stories and more in this…

Venezuela military group arrested after call to disavow Maduro
Latin America
904 views
Latin America
904 views

Venezuela military group arrested after call to disavow Maduro

AFP - January 21, 2019

A group of soldiers rose up against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro at a command post near Caracas on Monday, but…

Prominent anti-Ortega journalist seeks refuge in Costa Rica
Daniel Ortega
803 views
Daniel Ortega
803 views

Prominent anti-Ortega journalist seeks refuge in Costa Rica

AFP and The Tico Times - January 21, 2019

Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, a critic of Daniel Ortega's government, announced on Sunday that he has decided to leave…