Colombian Drug Lord Gets Life Prison Sentence


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

A high ranking member of a Colombian drug cartel was sentenced in Tampa, FL to life in prison Monday following a multi-agency investigation comprised of several federal agencies including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Ivan Gonzalez-Bejarano, 48, linked to the Cali Cartel, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday to a term of life imprisonment for conspiracy to import and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

The joint federal investigation, that spanned several years, yielded information revealing that Gonzalez-Bejarano had been trafficking cocaine into the U.S. for at least 20 years.

Gonzalez-Bejarano, also known as Flaco, Omar, Marino, Don Ruben, and El Vincino, was found guilty Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, following a two-week jury trial.

Gonzalez-Bejarano was high ranking member of the Cali Cartel, an organization responsible for smuggling more than 30 metric tons of cocaine.

The sentencing was the culmination of a multi-year investigation by the Panama Express South Strike Force, a federally approved Organized Crime Drug Enforcement task force consisting of ICE, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); the Coast Guard; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); the FBI and Joint Interagency Task Force South.

Operation Panama Express targets Colombian maritime smuggling organizations responsible for cocaine trafficking throughout the Easter Pacific to the U.S. and elsewhere for distribution.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Walter E. Furr, III.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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