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Five from Colombia Appeared in SDNY Roldan Cardenas Guilty on Romero US Asks 96 Months

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 5 – Jey James Roldan Cardenas and five others are indicted for a conspiracy to import narcotics from Colombia into the United States.

 On April 18, 2023 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan held a proceeding. Inner City Press went and covered it. 

  There were five defendants, all in the orange jumpsuits of the Westchester County Department of Corrections, in the jury box.

 The sixth defendant is in Colombia. An extradition package has been pending for one year, as have MLAT requests.

  Judge Kaplan suggested a motion schedule: August 15, September 5 opposition, September 14 reply, argument on September 28.

  If the MLAT materials including Colombian wiretaps come through, there might be a separate motion schedule for them. 

Jump cut to January 17, 2024, when counsel for co-defendant Tatiana Andrea Vargas Bulla asked for a time served sentencing, citing conditions in the ironically-named El Buen Pastor prison in Colombia.

Cut again to April 8, when co-defendant Jose Alfredo Aguas Oviedo appeared in SDNY Magistrates Court to plead guilty. Reference was made to him wearing Colombian police garb during the conspiracy. His sentencing control date is July 8.

On May 8, 2024, Inner City Press went to cover the trial of Jey James Roldan Cardenas, in custody. On the witness stand was a longtime DEA (and before that FBI) confidential informant. He is currently in the US in a one year renewable "parole," working for the DEA.

In 2021 he communication with Roldan Cardenas, paying $6000 to allow a private plane to land at the Cartagena airport in Colombia, to bring out 1000 kilos of cocaine to New York, he said. The AUSA led him through testimony about his falling-out with the FBI - he complained about an agent not paying him, he said, then got fired. He identified the defendant.

On Saturday, May 11 the US Attorney's Office wrote in seeking to preclude defense exhibits including about "the defendant's upbringing and work conditions in Colombia," saying these "are not relevant to any disputed issue at trial."

On May 14, Cardenas was found guilty.

On May 29, 73 year old co-defendant Oscar Gomez Romero asked for 27 months at his sentencing, set for June 12.

On June 5, the US Attorney's Office wrote in and asked for a sentence of 96 months.

 The case is US v. Cardenas, et al., 21-cr-359 (Kaplan) 


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