Leaders of the Lorenzana Drug Trafficking Organization Extradited on International Narcotics Trafficking Charges
(STL.News) Two Guatemalan nationals were extradited to the United States from Guatemala on Friday to face international narcotics trafficking charges.
Guatemalan nationals Haroldo Geremias Lorenzana-Cordon, aka Chuci, aka Chuchy, and Marta Julia Lorenzana-Cordon, aka Julie, aka Yulie, aka Julia and aka Morena, were extradited from Guatemala to the United States on Dec. 10 to face international drug trafficking charges. They made their initial court appearance in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 11. They are detained pending their appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
According to allegations contained in court documents, the defendants were leaders of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization. According to court documents, the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization, a historically patriarchal criminal group comprised primarily of family members, is one of the largest and most influential drug cartels in Guatemala. The organization transports tonnage quantities of cocaine from Colombia into Guatemala, where the cocaine is inventoried and stored on properties owned by the organization throughout Guatemala. Once processed, the organization works with the Sinaloa Cartel, among other organizations, to traffic cocaine into Mexico, through Central America, and eventually, into the United States.
According to court documents, between 1996 and 2019, the organization coordinated the transportation, storage and distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Central America and Mexico, for eventual distribution into the United States. Their siblings, Eliu Elixander Lorenzana-Cordon and Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, were convicted on international narcotics trafficking charges in the District of Columbia in March 2019. Their father, Waldemar Lorenzana-Lima Sr., pleaded guilty to international narcotics trafficking charges in the District of Columbia in August 2014. Eliu and Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon received life sentences. Waldemar Lorenzana-Lima received a 23 year sentence.
In April 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Haroldo, along with his father and two brothers, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for their role in facilitating the narcotics-trafficking activities of the Sinaloa Cartel in Guatemala. OFAC subsequently designated Marta Julia as an SDNT in November 2012.
A grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment against Haroldo on March 10, 2009. In November 2019, Haroldo was arrested by Guatemalan authorities, pursuant to a provisional arrest request by the United States, where he remained detained pending his extradition. A grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment against Marta Julia on July 23, 2020. In April, Marta Julia was arrested by Guatemalan authorities, pursuant to an extradition request by the United States, where she remained detained pending her extradition.
The defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it will be unlawfully imported to the United States. If convicted, they each face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is part of “Operation Slipknot,” which is supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The Drug Enforcement Administration’s 959/Bilateral Investigations Unit is investigating with assistance from the DEA Guatemala City Country Office.
Trial Attorneys Imani Hutty and Teresita Mutton of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section are prosecuting the case. The Office of International Affairs and Office of Enforcement Operations also provided significant assistance.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.