A Colombian informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration who served the United States for 27 years is now facing deportation ― and most probably fatal retaliation, since he helped take down famous cartel kingpins and his name is now out in the open.
Carlos Toro, 66, claims he helped in the prosecution of some of the biggest names in the Colombian drug trade, such as Carlos Lehder of the Medellín Cartel, and even in getting Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, behind bars.
Now that Toro, himself a high-ranking member of a cartel back in the '80s, wants to retire, the DEA is backtracking on its promise to help him acquire the legal status to remain in the U.S. once his ties with the agency are cut.
"Twenty-seven years of service and I have to beg," said Toro in an interview with CBS News. "I put my life on the line for them."
He said he is on an expired visa and is requesting either a green card or a U.S. passport. He also wants to be able to collect Social Security benefits and enjoy the rest of his life with the family and friends he’s known for almost three decades.
"The United States government has sentenced me to death," Toro told CBS. "I was loyal to them. I worked for them. I risked my life for them, and this is how they pay me?"
Toro, whose health is reportedly declining, became an undercover agent after he was arrested for cocaine trafficking. According to retired agent Mike McManus, who worked with him for two years, Toro became one of the agency’s most important assets.
"It's not that often that you have a confidential source who can work undercover for nearly 27 years all over the world and still maintain a cover," said McManus.
"It is government bureaucracy at its worst," he added. "He deserves to live life ever after in the United States. He's done his debt, he's paid his dues, he's done his service."
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