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Former Member of Cali Cartel Sentenced

Posted on January 27, 2010 3:00 AM EST

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 12:00am PST
A notorious member of the Cali cocaine trafficking cartel was sentenced in a Miami federal court to 200 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Jorge Solano was indicted and sentenced for cocaine trafficking, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and money laundering as a result of large scale investigation conducted by the U.S. immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Solano was considered to be involved in moving approximately 50,000 kilograms of cocaine into Miami between 1988 and 1991. During this time, he was considered to be the major supplier to Miami cocaine trafficking rings. Solano was represented by a Miami criminal defense lawyer with vast experience in defending federal Miami cocaine trafficking cases.

The Cali cocaine trafficking cartel was considered to be the largest distributer of cocaine throughout the United States and the world during the 1980's and 1990's. From 1988 to 1991, Solano was the highest ranking cartel member operating in Miami and was in charge of coordinating cocaine imports to Miami from Venezuela. The cartel would import large quantities of cocaine by ships carrying the cocaine hidden in drums of asphalt and concrete posts. In 1991, customs officials with the assistance of the United States Coast Guard discovered one of the cocaine laden ships. Kilograms of cocaine were discovered in the center of concrete posts. Federal authorities executed a search warrant at several warehouses operated by the Cali cartel. With the authorities closing in, Solano fled to Cali, Columbia in an effort to evade arrest and prosecution. Solano remained fugitive for seventeen years.

In 2008, Solano was still engaged in the business of cocaine trafficking. He was arrested in Togo, Africa. Togolese authorities arrested Solano and reported the bust to federal authorities in the United States. As part of an extradition pact between the governments, Solano was returned to the United States to face prosecution. Even with the disbanding of the Cali and Medellin cartels, Miami remains a key hub in receiving cocaine from South America. Despite several decades of our government's fight against the importation of drugs, the inflow of cocaine has not been dramatically reduced.

Anyone arrested for cocaine trafficking faces severe penalties, both in state and federal court. Cocaine trafficking offense all carry mandatory prison time in state and federal court. The amount of time an individual faces behind bars depend on the amount involved in the alleged trafficking. In federal court, cocaine traffickers face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. The number can be reduced if a defendant enters a plea and has no previous criminal record. A sentence can be further reduced if a defendant decides to cooperate with federal investigators and prosecutors. Before entering into a plea to a cocaine trafficking case, it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney to review the evidence, as a plea may not be in a client's best interest. Depending on the evidence, a person charged in a cocaine trafficking case may choose to go to trial, win and avoid being incarcerated altogether.

Former Fugitive Cali Cartel Member Sentenced to More than Sixteen Years in Prison, Ethiopian Review, January 22, 2010.
Categories: Drug Offenses