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Extradition of Alleged Cocaine Kingpin Approved

January 23, 1986|United Press International

MADRID — A Spanish court approved the extradition to the United States of a man alleged to be Colombia's top cocaine trafficker, judicial sources said Wednesday.

A Madrid court ruled Tuesday there were sufficient grounds to extradite Jorge Luis Ochoa on criminal charges, they said. U.S. authorities had sought his extradition on charges that he smuggled 3,300 pounds of cocaine from Colombia to the United States by way of Nicaragua in 1984.

Ochoa, 36, is the reputed leader of a ring said to control about 80% of Colombia's $2-billion-a-year cocaine trade. It was not immediately known whether he will appeal the extradition order, which must still be ratified by the government.

Tuesday's ruling reversed an earlier decision by the same court, which denied the request Sept. 24, citing the "political context" of the case. U.S. authorities appealed that decision.

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