Daniel Rendon Herrera, also known as “Don Mario,” plead guilty in a federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
According to court papers from the Eastern District of New York, Herrera is facing 20 years to life in prison if convicted for his role in building his billion-dollar cocaine empire that dates back to the late 90s. He’s also facing the possibility of forfeiting around $45 million and getting hit with a fine of over $2 million.
“Rendon Herrera, one of Colombia’s most prominent and feared drug kingpins and once the leader of the narco-terrorist Los Urabenos Drug Trafficking Organization, committed heinous crimes in pursuit of power and profit,” HSI Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Patel said in a statement after the ruling. “This plea demonstrates HSI and its law enforcement partners’ commitment to disrupting and dismantling the criminal organizations responsible for the dangerous narcotics flooding our streets. We will continue to pursue these organizations at the highest levels, both at home and abroad, and put an end to the terror that they generate across the world.”
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, also commented on the ruling, emphasizing how pivotal it is that Herrera has pleaded guilty.
“With today’s guilty plea, Rendon Herrera, who was once the most feared narco-terrorist in Colombia, admitted to leading one of the world’s largest and most violent drug cartels and flooding the streets of America with cocaine,” Peace said. “Rendon Herrera also admitted to providing material support to a designated terrorist organization that brutally killed, kidnapped, and tortured rival drug traffickers and civilians.” Peace said. “I commend the determined efforts of countless members of law enforcement, foreign and domestic, who brought the defendant to justice.”
As a part of the plea, Herrera accepted responsibility for trafficking at least 73,645 kilograms of cocaine during his tenure as a drug kingpin in Colombia.