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Latino Daily News

Sunday May 6, 2012

Lebanese Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Arms to FARC in Exchange for Cocaine

Lebanese Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Arms to FARC in Exchange for Cocaine

Photo: Jamal Yousef pleads guilty to conspiring with FARC

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A Lebanese citizen has pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Manhattan to conspiracy to provide weapons to Colombian guerrillas in exchange for more than a ton of cocaine, prosecutors said.

The defendant, 54-year-old Jamal Yousef, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to provide material support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said.

Judge John Kennan has set sentencing for August 13, Bharara said.

The indictment charged that between July 2008 and July 2009 Yousef agreed to provide the Marxist rebels with AR-15 and M-16 assault rifles, grenades and other explosives stolen from the U.S. Army in Iraq in exchange for more than a ton of cocaine.

Yousef, who was arrested in August 2009 in Honduras and subsequently extradited to the United States to stand trial, secured a sentence reduction by entering the guilty plea.

The case was built on an international U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sting operation.

The FARC, which has fought a decades-old insurgency against a succession of Colombian governments, is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups.