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Venezuelan Carlos Orense Met with Beltran Leyva in Mexico Cooperator Arvelaiz Says

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Substack

SDNY COURT, Nov 30 – Venezuelan indicted narco-trafficker Carlos Orense Azocar was presented in Magistrates Court in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 23, 2023 and Inner City Press was (the only media) there. 

 Orense had just been extradited in from Italy and the indictment against him unsealed.

The case was wheeled out and assigned to District Judge Vernon S. Broderick.

  On November 14, Inner City Press covered the final pre-trial conference before Judge Broderick. Thread.

On November 28, Inner City Press at 10 am and  later. Thread:

  Now cooperator Antonio Arvelaez (in court also said Antonio Arbelaez) takes the stand. Says he trafficked over 100 tons of drugs to the US, most of it with Orense. Also, automatic rifles, he says.

 This continued, with sound effects, on November 29. Thread.

On November 30, more names on direct - and 3500 material on cross. Thread:

All rise! Judge: Juror 9 has expressed concern she is not getting paid. I'm going to look into it. It may become an issue. Please bring in the witness. [It is the cooperator Arvelaez, with neck tattoo, still on direct. Seems to have a slight limp.]

Jury entering!AUSA: Let's talk about General Cliver Alcala. Cooperator Arvalaiz: He controlled the central region of Venezuela, so El Pollo Caravajal said.

AUSA: How did Alcala help Orense? Cooperator: Yes. We and our 1000 kilos of cocaine were escorted by Cliver ["Cleaver"]

AUSA: What uniforms did they have? Cooperator Arvelaiz: The green uniform of the Venezuela National Guard. The cocaine was bound for Guatemala, the pilots told me. AUSA: Who did Caravajal recomment Cliver to? Cooperator: Carlos Orense.

AUSA: Did Orense do anything for Alcala for his help?

Cooperator Arvelaiz: I delivered money to him in 2008 in Valencia.  AUSA: Who gave the order? Cooperator: Carlos Orense. I picked up a long black bag of $20 bills - some 2 or 3 million dollars

 AUSA: Where did you take the money to? Cooperator Arvelaiz: To the BOD Tower in Valencia. Armed men accepted the money from us. [Jury is shown photo of 15 or so story beige building with square windows and rounded front.]

AUSA: Did Orense speak to you about Tareck El Aissami? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes, Orense told me El Pollo had introduced them, El Aissami helped us with a cocaine delivery, he told us to wait out the checkpoints.

 AUSA: What about General Néstor Reverol?

Cooperator Arvelaiz: He would tip us off to drug operations. AUSA: And Jesus Itriago? Cooperator: He let us know there was an operation, so we stopped until he met Itriago in Caracas.

AUSA: Switching topics, how did Orense receive money? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Cash money, always in US dollars. I flew cash in from the Dominican Republic, $3 million one time. We had Customs and Police squared away.

AUSA: Who did mirror transactions for Orense? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Many people did it for him.  AUSA: Does Orense have children? Cooperator: Yes. Eduardo, Adonis, Carlito and two daughters [one has been periodically present at this trial]

AUSA: In your experience, do drug traffickers put plane in their name? Orense's lawyer: Objection! Judge: Sustained... [To the witness"] Do you know other drug traffickers? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes. They put the plane in the name of companies. Judge: Strike that

 AUSA: Were there weapons on the finca? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes, we fired them and talked about them. Orense said the best business was trading a gun worth $500 for 1 or 2 kilos of cocaine, with the guerrilla. AUSA: Do you speak English? Cooperator: Un poco

 AUSA: Why did you stop working with Orense? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Some money was lost, I sent someone else to pick up money in the Dominican Republic and he disappeared. I was held responsible. AUSA: Were you also involved in fraud? Cooperator: Yes. Bolivars f/x

 Cooperator Arvelaiz: I did a big food business deal with the Venezuela government. But the food was damaged and expired, people got sick, there were legal suits and prosecution. It was 2010.

Cooperator Arvelaiz: After Roberto ran off with the money, Orense invited me to a restaurant in Caracas. He, Pedro Luis Martin and Pollo asked me how I would pay it back. I said, I didn't steal it, I'm not paying it back. Our relationship got bad.


OK - in narcos Venezuela trial, now Carlos Orense's lawyer is cross examining cooperator Arvelaiz, after his testimony about El Pollo Caraval, Pedro Luis Martin, Jesus Alfredo Itriago, etc.

Orense's lawyer: So how you rent out boats in Miami?

Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes.  Orense's lawyer: How much do you earn? Cooperator: It depends. It's a family business.

Orense's lawyer: Do you have a tattoo of Scarface?

Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes, I like that movie Orense's lawyer: Have you seen Narcos and Narcos Mexico on Netflix?

Cooperator: No, I don't watch that. Orense's lawyer: Do you have a private Instagram? Cooperator: Yes

 Orense's lawyer: You mention Caravajal, Beltran - you can search them in the internet, yes?

AUSA: Objection Judge: Sustained

 Orense's lawyer: Have you exchanged Internet links with the government? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes. Orense's lawyer: You trafficked drugs independently - how? Arvelaiz: I dispatched the product. Police helped me.

 Orense's lawyer: You used police to steal from your grandmother? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes. Cash and gold.

 Orense's lawyer: Doesn't my client have legitimate businesses in Venezuela? Cooperator Arvelaez: I'm not aware of any.

Orense's lawyer: Doesn't he have cattle on his ranch? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Oh yes, he does.

 Orence's lawyer: My client was involved in oil too, right? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes.

 Orense's lawyer: And asphalt, he received a $6 million settlement, right? Cooperator: I don't know that.Orense's lawyer: You can't prove that my client tried to kill you, can you? Cooperator Arvelaiz: I can't.

 Orense's lawyer: When you left Venezuela, you went to China? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes

 Orense's lawyer: And you laundered money in China, with Antonio Gabran? Cooperator Arvelaiz: Yes

 Orense's lawyer: You stole drugs from dirty cops? Cooperator Arvelaiz: No.

Orense's lawyer is still crossing Arvelaiz: Did you speak with AUSA Gregorie about the expired powdered milk, for which you were linked to the death of children? Arvelaiz: The AUSA did ask me if people got sick, I don't remember if it was children

 Orense's lawyer: PDVSA, you were asked if he was a contractor? Arvelaiz: Yes.

Orense's lawyer: On July 7, 2022 at 2:13 pm did an agent ask you if were ever in the room with Orense and Arturo Mochomo and you said, Rarely? Arvelaiz: Yes

 Orense's lawyer: In the Miami FDC clinic did you show another inmate a photo of your uncle, Mr Orense?

Arvelaiz (smirking) You can't take property to the clinic. So, no

Orense's lawyer: You tried to kill my client? Arvelaiz: Cierto. With ten men. Orense's lawyer: Didn't you say 20? And did you try to kill El Pollo or Pedro Luis Martin? Arvelaiz: No. They were more powerful.

 Judge: Redirect? AUSA: You were asked about the shows Narcos and Narcos Mexico on Netflix - again have you seen them? Arvelaiz: Trailers.

 AUSA: Did you attend a meeting with Arturo Beltran, and his brother El Mochomo? Arvelaiz: Yes. Orense told me he was serious [Prompting with 3500 material - so, judicial documents?]

More on Substack here

Inner City Press will continue to cover the trial.

The case is US v. Azocar, 21-cr-379 (Broderick)


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