Venezuela

Two DEA informants in drug case against Maduro’s nephews are killed

Efrain A. Campo, second from left and Franki F. Flores, fourth from left, handcuffed after his arrest in Haiti.
Efrain A. Campo, second from left and Franki F. Flores, fourth from left, handcuffed after his arrest in Haiti. DEA

At least two Drug Enforcement Agency informants linked to the drug trafficking case of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s nephews were killed after the nephews’ arrests, according to court documents and personal accounts of people familiar with the situation.

The informant identified by authorities as CW-1, who is pictured sitting in a wheelchair in front of Maduro nephews Efrain Campo Flores and Fraqui Francisco Flores in a photograph supplied by the DEA, was executed a few days after the arrests.

“On Dec. 4, 2015, or on a date very near to that one, I was notified that CW-1 had been assassinated,” said Sandalio Gonzalez, a special agent who is part of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, in a court document.

But CW-1 was not the only person executed.

“They have killed two,” said one of the sources, who agreed to speak anonymously. “The death of the one from Honduras [CW-1] was ordered from Venezuela.”

The second person killed was already in the South American country and was part of the covert operation which led to the arrest of Maduro’s nephews.

The orders were given by the drug suppliers of the Venezuelan nephews, said the source.

Campo and Flores, who were raised as sons by Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, were arrested on Nov. 10 in Haiti and are currently facing charges in federal court in New York of conspiring to import 800 kilograms of drugs into the United States.

Most of the evidence against the men was gathered in private meetings with DEA informants, including CW-1, a drug trafficker who operated in Honduras and had been cooperating with the anti-drug agency in hopes of reaching an agreement to reduce the charges against him in the United States.

In early October 2015, CW-1, who used a wheelchair after having been in an accident, informed the DEA that he had been contacted by two Venezuelans who were interested in participating in a drug operation.

The Venezuelans had planned to travel to Honduras to participate in a meeting in which details of the operation involving the shipment of drug cargo from Venezuela to Honduras in an airplane would be discussed. Everything was to appear legitimate.

According to court documents presented by federal prosecutors in New York: “CW-1 had reported that he had met with the men and with others in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to discuss the shipment of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from the Simón Bolívar International Airport, in Maiquetía, to the Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport, in Honduras.”

During a meeting held afterward by Maduro’s nephews in Caracas, in which they met with potential business partners who in reality were DEA collaborators, the men admitted their plans to pay CW-1 a sum close to $900,000 in order to facilitate the entrance of the drugs into Honduras.

The case against the nephews includes statements made by the men themselves in which they spoke about their plans to send several drug shipments, including cocaine of high purity supplied to them by the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia (FARC) to the United States.

According to another court document, “During a recorded meeting towards the end of October 2015, Campos told two sources: ‘We are at war with the United States’. And during recorded meetings in Venezuela, Honduras and Haiti, the accused men discussed the transportation of multiple cocaine shipments via private planes, with the understanding that the final destination for the narcotics would be the United States, a transaction that they expected to generate million-dollar profits.”

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