|September 7, 2013
A major Colombian drug trafficker who willingly sought extradition to the United States—even offering a $40 million bribe to officials in Brazil to send him to the US—apparently knew what he was doing. After being extradited and convicted in Federal Court in New York of felony drug charges that could have put him in jail for life, he disappeared.
Juan Carlos Abadia's extradition to the US from Brazil in 2008 received major media coverage.The DEA was calling him the biggest drug cartel boss since Pablo Escobar. They say he led the world’s biggest drug cartel, exporting more than 500 tons of cocaine—worth in excess of $10 billion—just to the United States alone.
His name was in the news again several months later, when he asked (citing claustrophobia) to be placed in a bigger detention cell while awaiting trial in New York.
But when he pled guilty in March of 2010 to felony counts of drug trafficking and racketeering, not one newspaper in America carried the story. His conviction went completely unreported. The DEA didn't didn’t even issue a press release.
It was as if, when Pablo Escobar was gunned down in Colombia, the story didn't make the news.
Court documents indicate Abadia was sentenced to 25 years in Federal prison. But a search of the prisoner locater at the Federal Bureau of Prisons website does not list his name as among those currently incarcerated.