Top cocaine trafficker of late 1990s slain in Colombia by 2 gunmen; testified against cartel

Colombian police say a onetime leading cocaine trafficker who gained notoriety for testifying against Medellin cartel member Fabio Ochoa in a U.S. courtroom has been slain by gunmen in his homeland

National police director Jose Leon says two gunmen killed Alejandro Bernal and another man in the town of Sopo north of Bogota late last week while they were engaged in real estate and automobile deals.

Bernal was dubbed a major trafficker by U.S. and Colombian authorities when he was arrested in 1999. They said his organization smuggled 30 tons of cocaine a month to the United States.

Bernal was released from prison in 2009. Six years earlier, he was the U.S. government's star witness against Ochoa, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Bernal was in his mid-50s.