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WORLD : Cocaine ‘Kingpin’ Extradited

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports</i>

Colombia turned over a “kingpin” in the Medellin cocaine cartel and he was quickly extradited to the United States to stand trial on drug charges, the Justice Department said today.

Jorge Mario de la Cuesta was indicted in February in a massive cocaine importation case, along with four other accused leaders of the Medellin cartel, the Justice Department said.

Although the Justice Department identified De la Cuesta as a kingpin in the cartel, he is not one of the 12 “most wanted” Colombians on a list made public by Atty. Gen. Dick Thornburgh this summer. None of the 12 has been caught.

De la Cuesta is accused in a federal drug indictment of participating in a conspiracy that resulted in the smuggling of more than 16 tons of cocaine into the United States.

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De la Cuesta was flown from Colombia to Jacksonville, Fla., where he was being held pending arraignment in federal court.


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