HOUSTON – An alleged associate of one most serious transnational organized criminal organizations has landed in the United States on charges of distributing kilogram quantities of cocaine from Colombia, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Jhony Fidel Cuello-Petro aka Mocho, 45, is set to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy at 2 p.m. in Houston today.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Cuello-Petro and others Aug. 16, 2018. Colombian authorities took him into custody in November 2018. He was extradited and landed in Houston yesterday.
Cuello-Petro is an alleged close associate of Joaquin Guillermo David-Usuga aka Guillermo, 43, who is believed to be a ranking member of the Clan Del Golfo. David-Usuga was extradited to Houston Dec. 5, 2019, and is pending trial.
The Department of Justice designated Clan Del Golfo as one of the most serious transnational organized criminal organizations that threatens the United States.
The indictment alleges Cuello-Petro, David-Usuga and others were involved in the importation of kilogram quantities of cocaine into the United States. Both are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine internationally and one count of international cocaine distribution.
Cuello-Petro and David-Usuga were allegedly involved in an ongoing five-year conspiracy to distribute cocaine from Colombia to the United States. In May 2019, they and others participated in distributing approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine in Colombia knowing it was to be imported into the United States, according to the allegations.
The FBI and DEA led the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Macondo. OCDETF is a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. OCDETF’s principal mission is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in the extradition. The Justice Department also extends its gratitude to the government of Colombia and the Colombian police and military for its cooperation and assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Casey N. MacDonald and Anibal Alaniz are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.