Colombian Daniel Rendón Herrera, known as “Don Mario”, former head of the Clan del Golfo and one of the most powerful drug traffickers in his country, was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a judge in New York, where her trial took place.
Rendón Herrera, 56 years old, pleaded guilty in November of 2021 for commanding continued criminal activity and for conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, and has admitted to trafficking at least 73.645 kilos of cocaine.
The drug dealer could have been sentenced to a minimum sentence of years and a maximum to life in prison.
Federal prosecutor Breon Peace said in a statement that today’s conviction marks the end of the criminal career of Rendón Herrera, “who was Colombia’s most feared narcoterrorist.”
Peace also highlighted that the convict was responsible for importing tons of cocaine, “fueling violence and perpetuating drug abuse” that left “a trail of destruction from Colombia to the United States, stained with the blood of rival drug traffickers and civilians who were tortured and murdered” by the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia).
“We must think of all those people who will never see their loved ones, who were murdered in terrible ways”, declared Judge Dora Irizarry as she imposed the sentence on Rendón Herrera, who was leader of the AUC, which the US government declared as a group terrorist in September 2001.
The Colombian was also responding to charges in federal court for the Southern District in Manhattan related to his ties to the AUC, but these were transferred to Brooklyn court for confession.
The prosecution maintains that Rendón Herrera has served as leader of the AUC since the late years 1990 and was the founder and leader of the Los Urabeños Drug Trafficking Organization (also known as Clan Úsuga and Clan del Golfo).
D and in agreement with the United States government, the AUC, to support their political and terrorist objectives, created “taxes” on cocaine trafficked through the areas they controlled, and Don Mario employed hitmen who carried out robberies, murders, and kidnappings to maintain discipline. and control and expand its territory.
In 2009, when Rendón Herrera was captured by the Colombian National Police, the trafficker commanded 16 “blocs” or territories in Colombia and thousands of armed paramilitaries, according to the prosecution’s indictment.
Rendón Herrera is also facing sentences in his country for convictions related to various homicides, trafficking of weapons and drugs, which will remain pending until he is released from prison in the US.