Colombian drug kingpin sentenced to 31 years in prison

By Daniel Uria  |  June 19, 2018 at 8:35 PM
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June 19 (UPI) -- A Miami judge sentenced Colombian drug kingpin Henry De Jesus Lopez Londoño to 31 years in prison for importing cocaine into the United States.

U.S. District Judge Donald Graham sentenced Lopez Londoño, 48, to 372 months in prison followed by five years supervised release Monday for drug-trafficking charges in Florida.

He will receive credit toward the sentence for time he already served in prison following his arrest in 2012.

Graham chose not to issue Lopez Londoño a life sentence, although he said the 60,000 kilograms of cocaine he allegedly smuggled into the United States between 2007 and 2012 was staggering.

The judge questioned allegations made by the prosecutors that Lopez Londoño ordered numerous killings and provided nothing of value as a confidential informant to federal investigators about Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and other traffickers after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement testified to his usefulness.

"In any other case with this amount of cocaine, a life sentence would be appropriate," Graham said. "But this case is unique."

Lopez Londoño began working as a confidential informant for ICE in 2010, but was arrested two years later and charged with conspiring to distribute large amounts of cocaine in Miami two years later.

He was extradited to the United States in 2016 from a prison in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was held since 2012.

The defense stated Lopez Londoño committed no wrongdoing as he was attempting to infiltrate the Colombian Urabeños gang and other criminal groups with the direction of federal investigators.

Prosecutor Robert Emery argued Lopez Londoño "was two-timing the United States" as ICE had "never authorized the defendant to send out any loads of cocaine or commit any violence."

Emery also said the judge should fine Lopez Londoño $10 million for the money he obtained by trafficking the drugs, but Graham issued no fine.

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