After hiding in the jungles of Colombia for years, allegedly directing a criminal network despite a $6-million bounty, Dario Antonio Úsuga David — better known as Otoniel — woke up in Brooklyn, New York. Behind bars. Considered a global kingpin he finally appeared in court in the USA. Let me tell you about it.
The Mob Reporter here with details of the U.S. government’s plans for, and allegations against, Otoniel, the alleged supreme leader of Colombia’s powerful “Clan del Golfo.” On May 5, 2022, Otoniel appeared for the first time in a New York courtroom after his extradition from Colombia. He was refused bail pending trial. He is considered one of the biggest fish in a big, global sea.
He was arrested in a remote, jungle hideout in Colombia on Oct. 23, 2021. It was a landmark event. Through all but the last day of the massive dragnet for Otoniel since 2015, he remained a step ahead. He was surrounded by hardcore loyalists, who had been at his side for decades. They had a strict no-phones policy. Having a phone or electronic device anywhere near him risked your life. He moved through the jungle on foot, mule, or by boat, avoiding roads and populated areas. No luxury, no parties, no sports cars. Just tents and paranoia.
He’s indicted in the Eastern District of New York. That’s the same jurisdiction based in Brooklyn, New York, where Mexico’s cartel boss “El Chapo” Guzmán was put on trial in 2018. A jury there found El Chap guilty on all counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder and he was sentenced to life in prison. Otoniel might face a similar fate. Watch to find out why.