Christian Fernando Borda and Alvaro Alvaran-Velez, two narcotics traffickers aligned with the Autodefenses Unidas de Colombia (AUC), were found guilty late last week in U.S. District Court of conspiring to import ton-quantities of cocaine into the United States. The AUC is a Colombian paramilitary group designated by the U.S. Department of State as a foreign terrorist organization.
The guilty verdicts returned follow a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in the District of Columbia. Borda, 46, and Alvaran-Velez, 56, who are Colombian nationals, were extradited from Colombia to the United States in 2009, and trial began with jury selection on Oct. 2010. Following two days of deliberations, the jury found Borda and Alvaran-Velez guilty of one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine with the knowledge and intent that it would be imported into the United States.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, between February 2005 and March 16, 2007, Borda and Alvaran-Velez were members of a major narcotics trafficking organization based in Colombia that transported multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to the United States via Mexico.
According to court documents and trial evidence, one of their shipments of cocaine in 2005 involved approximately 1,500 kilograms of cocaine that was smuggled in drums of palm oil on a ship departing from the north coast of Colombia. Additional cocaine shipments in 2005 and 2006 involved quantities of more than 3,000 kilograms per shipment.