Columbian drug smuggler sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in U.S

Columbian drug smuggler sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in U.S


Oscar Adriano Quintero Rengifo, a Colombian drug smuggler, infamously dubbed the “Prince of Semi-Submersibles” by the media in his country, has been sentenced to 20 years and 10 months in U.S. federal prison.

Rengifo was found guilty of smuggling cocaine into the United States as part of a transnational criminal organisation that trafficked drugs from South America to Central America for importation into the United States.

He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell in Tampa, Florida on Monday.

Quintero Rengifo, also known as “Guatala”, was arrested in Colombia on January 29, 2021, at the request of the United States. He was extradited to the U.S. nearly a year later and, on May 20, 2022, pleaded guilty as part of plea agreement.

Court documents show that he was involved in smuggling cocaine using vessels such as self-propelled semi-submersible vessels to Guatemala, from where the drug was smuggled across the Guatemala/Mexico border and then into the United States.

The organization was overseen by a former mayor in Guatemala who controlled drug routes in northern Guatemala into Mexico.

From at least as early as January 2015 through September 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted at least four vessels, including two semi-submersible vessels, directly linked to the defendant’s organisation, and involving more than 13,000 kilogrammes of cocaine.

The case, part of an Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, a standing Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) comprising agents and analysts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South.

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