Photo: Freddy Mauricio Tellez-Buitrago
Earlier this week in Bogotá, two Colombian nationals were arrested for obstructing justice by selling sensitive and confidential U.S. law enforcement information to a narcotics trafficker concerning prosecutions in New York. The arrests are the result of an extensive investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Freddy Mauricio Tellez-Buitrago and Adriana Gonzalez-Marquez were arrested today. Tellez-Buitrago is employed as an administrative services assistant at the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia, International Affairs. Gonalez-Marquez, a former prosecutor at the attorney general’s office, is now a Colombian criminal defense attorney. The indictment charging the defendants with obstruction of justice was unsealed today in New York.
The defendants’ arrests resulted from an HSI investigation which revealed that Tellez-Buitrago had specialized access to law enforcement materials, including requests from the U.S. government for the extradition of alleged Colombian drug traffickers. Typically, the Colombian authorities treat such extradition requests as sensitive and confidential until the arrest of the individual whose extradition is sought.
Tellez-Buitrago is charged with accepting bribes from Gonzalez-Marquez in exchange for leaking documents relating to U.S. extradition requests for narcotics traffickers. Gonzalez-Marquez, in turn, allegedly sold the information to a narcotics trafficker in exchange for $30,000.
If convicted, Tellez-Buitrago and Gonzalez-Marquez each face up to 20 years in federal prison.