Colombia planning to extradite notorious drug trafficker to US

Colombia planning to extradite notorious drug trafficker to US
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The man Colombia has called the world's most dangerous drug trafficker was caught in a high-octane operation over the weekend, and a petition to extradite him to the U.S. is set to be filed on Monday. 

"You beat me," Dairo Antonio Usuga, who is known as Otoniel, said to security forces when he was captured over the weekend in a rural part of Colombia's Uraba region, Reuters reported.

The operation involved more than 500 Colombian special forces and 22 helicopters.


Otoniel is accused of exporting hundreds of tons of cocaine annually. He is also suspected of killing police officers, recruiting minors and sexually abusing children, according to Colombian President Ivan Duque, per Reuters. 

He is facing prosecution in the U.S. after being indicted by the Southern District of New York in 2009. 

"Extradition awaits all those who commit international crimes," said Defense Minister Diego Molano, who described Otoniel as "the worst kind" of criminal, according to Reuters.

Colombia had offered a reward of up to 3 billion pesos, which is about $800,000, for information about Otoniel. The U.S. government also offered a $5 million reward for help finding the drug trafficker. Both rewards will be paid, Reuters noted. 

Otoniel was the leader of Clan del Golfo, or Gulf Clan, a drug trafficking group. The group operates in 13 of Colombia's 32 provinces and includes about 3,800 members.

Otoniel allegedly trafficked between 180 tons and 200 tons of cocaine annually as part of the Gulf Clan. The Defense Ministry noted in a statement that he is also responsible for the deaths of more than 200 people involved with Colombia's security forces, Reuters said.

In addition to trafficking drugs, the Gulf Clan was also involved in illegal mining and has threatened to kill Colombian community leaders, Reuters reported.

Updated at 10:45 a.m.