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3 high-level Colombian narcotics traffickers indicted

MIAMI — Three men were indicted on charges of conspiring to manufacture and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, knowing that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States. This was a result of a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Those indicted were: Daniel Barrera-Barrera, 42, aka Loco Barrera; Javier Fernandez-Barrero, 43, and Orlando Fernandez-Barrero, 45, both collectively known as Los Gorditos. Of these, Javier and Orlando Fernandez-Barrero have been arrested and Barrera-Barrera remains at large.

Colombian officials recently announced a $2.7 million reward for the capture of Daniel Barrera-Barrera, whom Colombian authorities describe as one of the "most wanted" individuals in Colombia. The superseding indictment also charges that Daniel Barrera-Barrera conspired to import cocaine into the United States.

"Transnational criminal organizations are a direct threat to the national security of the United States," said Michael Shea, acting special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Miami. "The combined efforts of ICE HSI and our law enforcement partners are designed to disrupt and dismantle these illicit organizations."

The charges announced today are part of Operation Splinter Cell, an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation led by DEA. The principal mission of the task force is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation's illegal drug supply.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison.