The leader of one of the largest cocaine distributors in the world Wednesday pleaded guilty to running a criminal enterprise and drug trafficking charges. Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, also known as “Otoniel,” pleaded guilty to running a continuing criminal enterprise under 21 USC §848. While the charge carries a maximum term of life imprisonment, as part of Úsuga David’s extradition agreement, the US is not seeking a life sentence. Úsuga David also agreed to forfeit $216 million to US federal authorities.Úsuga David was the leader of the Clan Del Golfo from 2012 until his capture by the Colombian military in 2021. According to the plea agreement, Úsuga David took responsibility for distributing over 96,000 kilograms of cocaine, narcotics importation conspiracy, bribing law enforcement, and a range of violent crimes.US Attorney Breon Peace said of the plea, “With today’s guilty plea, the bloody reign of the most violent and significant Colombian narcotics trafficker since Pablo Escobar is over.”Following his 2021 capture, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez agreed to extradite Úsuga David to the US. Duque hoped the extradition would impede drug trafficking while demonstrating that “no one is above the law.” Úsuga David arrived in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) in May 2022. US federal authorities charged Úsuga David by indictments filed in three separate courts, the Southern District of Florida (SDFL), the Southern District of New York (SDNY), and the EDNY. In exchange for the transfer of the SDFL indictment and the SDNY indictment, Úsuga David obtained a plea and sentencing in the EDNY.Úsuga David awaits sentencing from the judge. He faces at least a 20-year prison sentence.

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