Ex-Colombian prosecutor pleads guilty

A former Colombian prosecutor has pleaded guilty to providing sensitive law enforcement information to a drug trafficking organization in exchange for money.

In the plea deal filed in U.S. District Court Monday, Ramiro Anturi Larrahondo and federal prosecutors agreed to a prison sentence of roughly 4 1/2 years, followed by another five years of supervised release. The agreement must still be approved by a judge. Sentencing is scheduled for next month.

Anturi, who is identified in the Justice Department press release on second reference as Anturi Larrahondo, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, intending and knowing that the cocaine would be illegally imported to the U.S.

According to a statement of facts signed by prosecutors and Anturi, the 55-year-old received payments from the drug trafficking organization to find out about Colombian and U.S. criminal investigations. The organization also paid Anturi to protect it from law enforcement investigations. He received several monthly payments of 21 million pesos, the equivalent of roughly $10,000.

The drug trafficking organization was responsible for transporting cocaine from Colombia to Central America, and ultimately the United States. Anturi was recorded on Colombian judicial wire intercepts speaking to drug trafficking organization representatives and a source for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration about payments, document delivery and coordination of meetings.

The Justice Department says that Anturi is the first Colombian prosecutor ever extradited to the United States.