Head of Colombia's Calle Cartel Surrenders
The head of one of the most notorious and violent cocaine cartels in the world has turned himself in to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA).
Javier Antonio Calle, who heads the Colombian group known as the “Calle Cartel,” surrendered to authorities Friday on the Caribbean island of Aruba.
The 43-year-old drug kingpin was flown directly to New York, authorities told journalists. His brother and alleged partner, Juan Carlos Calle, was captured in Ecuador in March and sent to the United States as well.
A $5 million reward had been offered for each by the U.S. State Department, which alleges that Javier has been “linked to kidnappings, tortures and assassinations in Colombia, Venezuela and Panama.”
"As a result of... the National Government's efforts to track down all drug traffickers, in the past few hours Javier Antonio Calle turned himself in,” said Jose Roberto Leon, deputy director of Colombia's police force.
Calle is considered the head of a wide-ranging paramilitary organization that control key smuggling routes. The network, known as “Los Rastrojos” – The Stubbles, or Leftovers – is suspected of smuggling tons of cocaine into the United States each year.
The Associated Press reported that Calle was indicted in New York's Eastern District for the alleged international distribution of 25 metric tons of cocaine, money laundering, racketeering and murder, according to a news release issued at the time by the local U.S. Attorney's office.
However, the indictment does not appear in the U.S. federal court system online database.
A former guerilla fighter, Javier Antonio Calle is also believed to be associated with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Both are designated as terrorist organizations on the U.S. State Department website.