Suspected Colombian drug boss arrested in Madrid

Spanish police have arrested Colombian Edgar Guillermo Vallejo Guarin, one of America's most-wanted drug traffickers, according to the US embassy in Madrid. The US had offered a $5 million reward for his capture.



MADRID - A Colombian accused by the U.S. authorities of heading one of the most violent drug trafficking networks in South America has been arrested in a Madrid hotel, the U.S. Embassy in the city said on Friday.


U.S. authorities had offered a reward of $5 million for Edgar Vallejo Guarin, also know as "Beto Gitano", who had been on their wanted list since 2001.


He was captured in the Melia Fenix hotel in Madrid on Thursday night, following a tip-off from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.


Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre said in a statement that the U.S. government would seek his extradition from Spain.


"Vallejo Guarin has an extensive history of violence, money laundering, and the corruption of high-level government officials," the U.S. State Dept. website says.


Vallejo Guarin, 47, is alleged to have been a major supplier of Colombian cocaine to the U.S. from 1990 to 1999 and is a suspect in several drug-related murders.


He was indicted in June 2001 in the Southern District of Florida for heading and operating a continuing criminal enterprise.


The DEA received information following the indictment that Vallejo Guarin had been located first in Venezuela and then in Spain.


Spanish police found Vallejo Guarin had used Venezuelan documentation to obtain residency in Spain under the assumed name of Jairo Gomez.

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