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Contraband
05/29/2009

Drug smuggler wanted by ICE arrested in Colombia

Aldemar Alvarez-Tabares
Aldemar Alvarez-Tabares

NEW YORK - Aldemar Alvarez-Tabares, a Colombian national wanted for smuggling tons of cocaine into the United States was arrested in Cali, Colombia, on Tuesday. Colombian National Police Officers assigned to Direccion Central de Policia Judicial a Inteligencia (DIJIN) with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested Alvarez following an ICE-led investigation.

Alvarez is accused of international drug trafficking and money laundering. During the course of the investigation, agents identified Alvarez as a logistics manager who organized transportation routes for cocaine smuggled from Colombia through Venezuela and Mexico into the United States. Alvarez was a liaison between Colombian drug smugglers and the Mexican Zeta Cartel, a criminal mercenary arm for the Gulf Cartel.

Alvarez was indicted on Nov. 4, 2008, in the Eastern District of New York for conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute while on a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. This ICE-led investigation was coordinated between the ICE Office of Investigations in New York City and the ICE Attaché Bogota with the cooperation of the Colombian National Police.

A provisional arrest warrant was subsequently issued for Alvarez. He is in the custody of the Colombian National Police pending extradition.