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United States federal agents dismantled a trafficking ring that was supplying weapons to criminal networks in Colombia

by Eula Gerlach (2020-03-22)

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United States federal agents dismantled a trafficking ring that was supplying weapons to criminal networks in Colombia.

An indictment filed in a Miami court last Thursday named three men who are accused of conspiring to purchase firearms in South Florida.

The weapons were then hidden inside air compressors before they were shipped to the South American nation, it is claimed.

Federal authorities charged Francisco Joseph Arcila Ramirez, a Colombian national, and Gregory Fernando Ortega, both whom reside in Broward County, with linking up with a buyer who aided the pair.

The weapons runners were able to get their hands on a cache that included pistols, semiautomatic rifles and other arms from official dealers in the South Florida-area.






A United State-led investigation brought down a weapons trafficking ring accused of supplying criminal gangs in Colombia. An indictment charged three men with conspiring to purchase the weapons and hide them inside air compressors before they were shipped. The arms were purchased from a variety of legal gun dealers in South Florida, including Lou's Police Supply (pictured)







Federal agents in Miami are working closely with their counterparts in Colombia to determine if the National Liberation Army [ELN] received any of the weapons that were shipped from South Florida. The ELN claimed responsibility for a suicide attack January 17 that killed 20 police cadets at an academy in Bogota. An ELN soldier is surrounded by other members of the guerrilla group in this file photograph


The purchaser is not named in the court documents but James Smith is identified as the third defendant in the indictment.

The three men were charged with unlawful firearms dealing.  

The story was first reported on by the Miami Herald. 

Federal authorities in Miami along with their counterparts in Colombia are investigating whether any of the weapons made it to the hands of the National Liberation Army [ELN].






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The leftist guerrilla group claimed responsibility for the January 18 suicide bombing at the General Francisco de Paula Santander Cadets School in Bogota which left 21 dead, including 20 cadets.

However, court documents don't name the ELN, which has been at odds with the Colombian government since 1964.

It is recognized by the U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist organization.

Investigators have yet been able to determine if the weapons purchased by the men played any role in the attack that also left 68 injured.

If you liked this article and you would like to receive extra info with regards to air preparation equipment kindly go to our web-page. The federal agents claim Arcila Ramirez and Ortega were able to purchase Glock, Draco and Zastava pistols at several Miami gun shops, including Lou's Police Supply, with Smith's assistance.


















Investigators in Bogota, Colombia comb the area following an attack at a police academy by the ELN, which killed 20 police cadets and also left 68 others injured







Residents in Colombia speed by a building with graffiti referencing the ELN, a guerrilla group in the South American nation that has been fighting the government since 1964 (file  image)


Fully aware that they were being investigated in October, federal court documents indicate Ortega demanded silence from Smith before the latter started cooperating with federal government authorities. 

That same month, Colombian authorities arrested Arcila Ramirez's brother Alvaro Jay Arcila, and his wife, Ingrid Maldonado Perez, in Barranquilla, and discovered weapon parts and accessories. 

Ortega had a hunch that Arcila Ramirez would be captured by law enforcement officers in Florida, it is claimed.

At one point, Ortega allegedly told Smith to remain quiet because there was no way the federal agents could trace the weapons since the serial numbers had been wiped out. 

Arcila Ramirez, who has legal residency in the United Sates, allegedly returned to his native country to spearhead the arrival of a firearms shipment he directed sometime in the fall.

Ortega was set to be processed in court last Friday while Arcila Ramirez was due to be seen by a judge on Monday.



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