Colombian drug trafficker sentenced in Seattle

AP News
Posted: Sep 27, 2011 12:39 AM
Colombian drug trafficker sentenced in Seattle

A leader in a cocaine trafficking ring with links to powerful Mexican and Colombian cartels has been sentenced to 34 years in federal prison, following extradition from South America.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 41-year-old Nivaldo Riascos Renteria of Colombia played a key role in organizing transport of tons of cocaine from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to the United States, Mexico and Europe. The FARC controls the vast majority of cocaine production in South America.

Riascos Renteria is one of three men extradited from South America and convicted of drug trafficking in Seattle.

The investigation into him began in 2007 with an undercover agent posing as a shipping executive. Riascos Renteria wanted the cocaine shipped to an area in Mexico controlled by the now disbanded Beltran-Leyva cartel.