Colombia nabs major cocaine smuggler wanted by U.S.
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian police struck a blow against the country's top drug cartel by capturing a trafficker accused of smuggling about 100 tons of cocaine to the United States, officials said on Sunday.
Juan Rivera was arrested in the city of Cali after a six-month manhunt. He is wanted for extradition by U.S. courts in Florida and was second in command of the Norte del Valle cartel, Colombia's biggest cocaine smuggling gang.
"With the passing of the years, Rivera became the key part of this organization in terms of smuggling cocaine to external markets," said national police chief Oscar Naranjo.
Police believe Rivera, known in Colombia's underworld at "Zero Six" is responsible for sending 98 tons of cocaine to the United States alone.
(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Bill Trott)
Sunday, September 27, 2009; 2:24 PM