Plea comes after Hugo Carvajal was extradited from Spain to US to face expenses he coordinated drug trafficking.
Venezuela’s former spy chief has pleaded not responsible in a United States courtroom to charges he coordinated international drug trafficking whereas in workplace.
The 63-year-old Hugo Carvajal had served as former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s eyes and ears within the nation’s army from 2004 to 2011.
US federal prosecutors mentioned, throughout that point, he facilitated the cargo of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico, the place it was finally despatched to the US.
“Carvajal deserted his duty to the folks of Venezuela and exploited his place for private acquire,” US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief Anne Milgram mentioned in an announcement upon his extradition. “DEA and our companions stand united to deliver to justice anybody, in any place, who endangers the protection and well being of the American folks.”
Carvajal’s look in New York federal courtroom on Thursday marked the fruits of greater than 10 years of effort by the Division of Justice to deliver him to US soil.
The fees in opposition to him embody taking part in a narco-terrorism conspiracy, conspiring to import cocaine to the US and conspiring to make use of, carry or possess “machine weapons and damaging gadgets” in reference to the cocaine trafficking.
Carvajal was first arrested in 2014 in Aruba, a semi-autonomous Dutch Caribbean island. He was later launched and returned to Venezuela after the Netherlands dominated he had diplomatic immunity. On the time, the US Division of State decried the choice, calling it disappointing and disturbing.
In 2019, he was again arrested, this time in Spain, on US drug expenses, however he went into hiding after a courtroom initially authorised his extradition. He was re-arrested in 2021.
Following his extradition on Wednesday, US prosecutors launched an announcement explaining that Carvajal — way back to 1999 — served as one of many “leaders and managers” of the so-called Cartel of the Suns, a gaggle of officers that oversaw drug trafficking.
The cartel’s title is a reference to the solar insignia affixed to the uniforms of Venezuelan army officers.
Prosecutors mentioned Carvajal partnered with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgent group to arrange the cocaine trafficking community. On the time, the prosecutors defined, FARC was answerable for cocaine manufacturing throughout swathes of Colombia and Venezuela.
One cargo alone contained 5.6 tonnes of cocaine, flown on board a personal jet from Venezuela to Mexico in 2006, in accordance with prosecutors. Mexican authorities intercepted the cocaine upon arrival.
Nicknamed “El Pollo” — “The Hen” — Carvajal had additionally taken half within the failed 1992 coup that facilitated Chavez’s rise to political prominence. He was extensively thought-about to be some of the highly effective figures to serve below the socialist chief.
Carvajal later broke with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s handpicked successor.
He threw his assist as an alternative behind US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido and launched a video from an undisclosed location in 2019 calling on the army to stand up in opposition to Maduro. His enchantment went unanswered.