New charges announced in conspiracy to bring massive amounts of cocaine into US, central Ohio – 10TV

COLUMBUS, Ohio Federal authorities in Columbus Friday announced charges in what they call a conspiracy to transport massive amounts of cocaine from South America to the U.S.

Coast Guard video showed alleged drug pirates throwing bales of cocaine overboard as authorities move in.

That 2017 bust near the Galapagos Islands led to the arrests of four men, and intercepted $25 million worth of cocaine bound for the United States, and central Ohio.

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"In 2017, I stood right here to announce our prosecution of four pirates caught on the high seas. What I could not say at that time, was that those pirates were couriers for this organization," said U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman Friday, announcing another arrest from the same drug operation.

"We are here to announce the extradition from Panama of Francisco Golon-Valenzuela, a Guatemalan national also known as El Toro."

Golon-Valenzuela is charged with conspiracy to import massive amounts of cocaine into the United States.

"This was an enormous and sophisticated operation," Glassman said. "The Mexican cartels need suppliers. There is no cocaine grown in Mexico it's grown in Colombia. So the allegation is that this organization, of which Mr. Golon-Valenzuela is a co-conspirator, was the supplier. It then goes to the cartels in Mexico, which distribute throughout the United States. Some of that is distributed here in Ohio."

The arrests are the result of a multi-year, international investigation between federal prosecutors, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Our message is quite simple," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mauricio Jimenez. "If you distribute drugs and destroy communities in Ohio, we will find you and bring you before justice."

Prosecutors say so far, seven people have been indicted from this drug operation.

Those indictments remain sealed until those suspects are taken into custody.

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New charges announced in conspiracy to bring massive amounts of cocaine into US, central Ohio - 10TV

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