Drug Law

Report: DEA Helped Colombian Cartel Launder Cash, Ship Cocaine

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

First "Fast and Furious," now this -- a published report claims that undercover DEA agents helped a Colombian drug cartel launder millions of dollars as well as escort a cocaine shipment.

The New York Times said this was part of an operation with Mexican authorities to infiltrate and bust a Mexican-Colombian drug operation. The information in the report comes from Mexican government documents.

The Times writes:

The documents... describe American counternarcotics agents, Mexican law enforcement officials and a Colombian informant working undercover together over several months in 2007. Together, they conducted numerous wire transfers of tens of thousands of dollars at a time, smuggled millions of dollars in bulk cash — and escorted at least one large shipment of cocaine from Ecuador to Dallas to Madrid.

The report said the target of the investigation was Colombian trafficker Harold Mauricio Poveda-Ortega. He was arrested in 2010.

The Times reports a Justice Department spokesman did not dispute the Mexican documents. In a statement the DEA defended its actions:

“Transnational organized groups can be defeated only by transnational law enforcement cooperation. Such cooperation requires that law enforcement agencies — often from multiple countries — coordinate their activities, while at the same time always acting within their respective laws and authorities.”