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Leader of Guatemalan Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Life in Prison

Earlier today, Eliu Elixander Lorenzana-Cordon, 46, previously residing in La Reforma, Guatemala, was sentenced to life in prison following a trial in March 2016, where he was found guilty of conspiring to illegally import into the United States and distribute multi-ton quantities of cocaine.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Special Operations Division made the announcement.

The sentence was issued by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

"Lorenzana-Cordon was a leader of a major international drug trafficking organization with close ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most violent and sophisticated transnational criminal organizations operating in the world today," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. "In that capacity, Lorenzana-Cordon was responsible for receiving and distributing tons of cocaine destined for the United States, where it would be sold on our streets, causing untold harm to our communities and the lives of our citizens. This sentence sends an unmistakable message that the Department will continue to relentlessly pursue and prosecute international drug traffickers who endeavor to send drugs to the United States, wherever they may be."

"Global criminal networks operate every day through drug trafficking and violence to assault the rule of law in the United States and around the world," said Special Agent in Charge Donovan. "DEA and our foreign counterparts have worked tirelessly to ensure that Lorenzana-Cordon would spend a significant portion of his life in a U.S. prison cell for his crimes against our great country."

The defendant was convicted on one count of conspiring to unlawfully distribute cocaine for illegal importation into the United States. As proven at trial, the defendant along with his brother, co-defendant Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, established himself as a leader of an international drug trafficking organization with close ties to the Sinaloa Cartel. Between 1996 and 2009, the defendant and his co-conspirators received, stored and distributed multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia at their properties in Zacapa, Guatemala, for importation into Mexico and then ultimately into the United States. The cocaine delivered to the defendant's properties during the course of the conspiracy arrived via extensive and varying means, including the use of go-fast boats, non-commercial light aircraft, and vehicles with hidden compartments. The defendant and his associates also used firearms during their criminal activity, and relied on threats of violence to promote their drug trafficking objectives.

On April 27, 2010, the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control designated the defendant and his brother, Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act due to their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking and their ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.

The DEA's 959/Bilateral Investigations Unit and Guatemala City Country Office led the investigation, which was supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, the Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs, the Chicago Police Department and the governments of El Salvador and Panama provided support and assistance. Finally, and in particular, the Justice Department wishes to convey its gratitude to the government of Guatemala for its steadfast commitment, collaboration and assistance in the investigation, extradition and prosecution of this case.

Trial Attorneys Michael Lang, Stephen Sola and Emily Cohen of the Criminal Division's Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section are prosecuting the case.

[Source: DOJ, Office of Public Affairs, Criminal Division, Washington, 22Feb18]

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Corruption and Organized Crime
small logoThis document has been published on 01Mar18 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.