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Court OKs Extradition of Former Cartel Leader

THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / COLOMBIA

August 23, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Colombia's Supreme Court approved a U.S. request to extradite Fabio Ochoa, a former leader of the defunct Medellin cocaine cartel.

Ochoa, who was a close associate of the late Medellin boss Pablo Escobar, was one of 31 people arrested in Bogota, the capital, in an October 1999 crackdown against alleged members of a new cocaine- smuggling operation.

If President Andres Pastrana signs the extradition papers, as expected, Ochoa will be flown to the U.S., where he faces a Florida indictment for his alleged role in an international syndicate said to have shipped 30 tons of cocaine a month to the U.S. through Mexico.

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