Miami-Dade County

Feds bust Colombian cocaine ring, and a leader is now in Miami

The federal courthouse in Miami.
The federal courthouse in Miami. File photo

The federal government has dismantled a Colombia-based drug trafficking ring that relied on go-fast boats to transport cocaine from the Colombian Caribbean coast to Central America where it was shipped to the U.S. market, according to federal court records.

The case emerged in court documents against eight defendants, one of whom — Luis Carlos Bustamante Jaramillo — was recently arrested in Colombia and extradited to Miami to stand trial.

Bustamante Jaramillo, 40, was sent to Miami and arrested on July 14, according to court records.

Unlike other recent cases in Miami federal court, where prosecutors have brought to trial hundreds of boat crew members detained with drugs at sea, this case involves alleged drug traffickers who organized the those boat trips.

Hundreds of Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans have been arrested at sea in the past five or six years and brought to Miami to stand trial.

In the Bustamante Jaramillo case, federal agents intensified their investigation on April 3, 2014, after a Miami federal grand jury handed down an indictment against the eight defendants, including Jaramillo Bustamante.

The indictment was initially put under seal because the eight defendants were considered fugitives because they had not yet been arrested in Colombia.

The arrests began this year with the first defendant arriving here on March 17. The following transfer took place on June 22.

Jaramillo Bustamante, the third defendant to be sent to Miami, was arrested by federal agents on July 14, according to court documents. Six days later he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.

Currently, Jaramillo Bustamante is awaiting trial, possibly in late August.

The court docket does not mention the name of any lawyer assigned to Jaramillo Bustamante.

At least one of the previously extradited to Miami has since pleaded guilty and now expects sentencing in August.