CARACAS, Venezuela – A long-sought drug kingpin who was extradited by Colombia back to Venezuela over the objections of the U.S. has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for trafficking and money laundering.
Venezuela state prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz said Tuesday that she will appeal for a longer sentence.
Walid Makled was arrested in Colombia in 2010 and sent to Venezuela the following year. He was also wanted in the U.S., where officials waged an unsuccessful campaign to gain custody of him. U.S. authorities said Makled operated airstrips used to smuggle drugs.
Makled was once a successful businessman in Venezuela but went into hiding in 2008 after large amounts of cocaine were found at a family ranch.