Operation MillenniumBy Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 4, 2003
Investigation: 12-month, joint U.S.-Colombian effort, unveiled Oct. 13, 1999; employed sophisticated wiretaps and camera surveillance; run by DEA's Group 9 in Fort Lauderdale and assisted by DEA agents at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.
Targeted Alejandro Bernal, who operated clearinghouse for some of Colombia's most prolific cocaine producers. Syndicate said to have smuggled 20 to 30 tons of cocaine a month, through Mexico, to the United States.
Prosecution: 43 people indicted, all but one in Colombia; to date, 33 have been extradited and 17 have pleaded, for an average sentence of 61/2 years.
Drugs seized: More than 9.5 tons of cocaine seized at sea; another 10-ton shipment interrupted in planning stages.
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