Venezuelan Authorities Capture Drug Trafficker Wanted in U.S.

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Venezuelan authorities on Saturday said they have captured a prominent Colombian drug trafficker wanted by the United States.

U.S. authorities had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Salomon Camacho Mora.

Venezuelan intelligence and counter-drug agents captured the 65-year-old Colombian during the past week in the city of Valencia, the state-run Bolivarian News Agency reported. It was not immediately clear what steps led up to the arrest.

The U.S. State Department says on its Web site that Camacho began trafficking cocaine in the 1980s with Colombia's Medellin cartel, and later formed partnerships with other traffickers.

U.S. authorities say that since 1998 he had worked with the trafficker Hermagoras Gonzalez Polanco in what has been called the Guajira cartel, and that the two men were responsible for sending as much as 10 tons of cocaine to the U.S. between 1999 and 2000 alone.

Venezuelan authorities previously captured Gonzalez in 2008, saying his name was Armando Gonzalez Apushana.

The U.S. State Department says the two were thought to have ties to Dominican drug organizations that paid for drugs through a money laundering scheme.

Camacho was indicted in Florida in 1991 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and in New Jersey in 2002 for money laundering. A subsequent 2005 indictment against Camacho and other associates included those same charges.