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Colombian Drug Kingpin and Former FBI Top 10 Fugitive Pleads Guilty in Miami

Diego Leon Montonya was once an FBI Top 10 Fugitive. Now with his downfall, will his cartel fade away? If so, it’s surely to be replaced by another one. As long as there’s demand, there will be a supply.

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

BY JOSE PAGLIERY
The Miami Herald
MIAMI — With the stroke of a pen, Diego León Montoya Sánchez assumed responsibility for it all.

He admitted to running Colombia’s most prolific cocaine cartel. To laundering millions earned from the transcontinental trade. To ordering assassinations to keep quiet members of his organization.

And on Tuesday, the one-time leader of the powerful North Valley cartel said he was sorry for every bit of it.

Montoya Sánchez, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Miami on Tuesday, months after being extradited to the United States from Colombia. The extradition agreement prohibits a life sentence. The charges include conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering and obstruction of justice by murder.

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