Guatemalan court orders extradition of suspected drug kingpin

Reuters News
|
Posted: Aug 06, 2012 10:25 PM
Guatemalan court orders extradition of suspected drug kingpin

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A Guatemalan court decided on Monday to extradite a 72-year-old suspected drug trafficker to the United States because of his alleged ties to Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Waldemar Lorenzana, who has said he is innocent, was arrested last year while driving in the town of El Jicaro, 40 miles northeast of Guatemala City.

Authorities accuse Lorenzana of running a large cocaine smuggling racket for the Sinaloa Cartel, pushing drug shipments from Colombia to the United States.

The U.S. Treasury Department has placed Lorenzana and his three sons Eliu, Haroldo and Waldemar, on a list of Central American drug kingpins and a U.S. district court in New York has requested his extradition on drug trafficking charges.

Lorenzana's youngest son Eliu was arrested last year and in February a Guatemalan court issued an extradition order for the 40-year-old suspected drug trafficker to face similar charges in the United States.

The elder Lorenzana's other sons are still at large and the U.S. government has offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez must ratify the extradition order before a date is set to send Lorenzana to the U.S. to face charges.

(Reporting by Michael McDonald)