A federal grand jury has charged a former top general in Colombia with a drug-running conspiracy, accusing him of taking bribes to aid the drug gangs he was supposed to be fighting.

Mauricio Santoyo Velasco is a retired general with the Colombian national police. From 1996 through 2002, he was a top commander in Colombia's anti-terrorism units. He later led security for the country's then-president, Alvaro Uribe Velez.

An indictment unsealed last week in federal court in Alexandria charges that Santoyo took substantial bribes to tip off some of the country's leading drug gangs about U.S., British and Colombian investigations. It also alleges he assigned corrupt officers to his units to benefit the drug gangs.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride declined to comment on the indictment Monday.