Usuga is widely considered to be the boss of the “Clan del Golfo,” a powerful drug cartel that controls cocaine routes into Mexico and the United States. He is being held at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City and was expected to appear before a U.S. judge within hours.
At the time of his arrest, the alleged cartel leader was facing at least 122 charges for drug trafficking, criminal association, murder and money laundering, according to the Colombian Attorney General’s office.
His extradition was approved by presidential decree after the Colombian State Council denied an appeal by several victims of Usuga’s alleged crimes who wished to see him tried in Colombian court.
The so-called Clan del Golfo consists of former members of terrorist organizations and “uses violence and intimidation to control narcotics trafficking routes, cocaine processing laboratories, speedboat departure points, and clandestine landing strips,” according to the State Department.