US Announces Criminal Charges Against Venezuela's Maduro - Justice Dept.

(@FahadShabbir)

US Announces Criminal Charges Against Venezuela's Maduro - Justice Dept.

US Attorney General William Barr said during a press conference on Thursday that the United States is pressing criminal charges against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for allegedly facilitating drug trafficking into the United States

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 26th March, 2020) US Attorney General William Barr said during a press conference on Thursday that the United States is pressing criminal charges against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for allegedly facilitating drug trafficking into the United States.

"The Department of Justice is announcing the unsealing of a superseding indictment filed in the Southern District of New York against four defendants, including Nicolas Maduro as well as the current head of Venezuela's constituent assembly, the former director of military intelligence and former high-ranking general for their involvement in narco-terrorism," Barr said.

The Justice Department said in a press release that each defendant is charged with four narco-terrorism and drug trafficking-related charges that carry sentences of a minimum of 50 years in prison and a maximum life sentence.

In addition to Maduro, the other indicted officials include National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello Rondon, former director of Venezuela's military intelligence Gen. Hugo Carvajal Barrios, former Venezuelan Army general Cliver Alcala Cordones as well as Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) members Luciano Marin Arango and Seuxis Hernandez Solarte.

Barr said the indictment accuses Maduro and the other Venezuelan officials of partnering with FARC to smuggle cocaine into the United States for more than 20 years. The US Attorney General further accused Maduro and the Venezuelan officials of intending to "flood" the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the country's health and well being.

Barr said the United States expects and is exploring all options to gain custody of Maduro and the other indicted officials.

In addition, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Ariana Fajardo Orshan told reporters that the United States has indicted Venezuela's Chief Supreme Court Justice Maikel Moreno on charges of money-laundering .

The State Department is offering a reward of $15 million for any information leading to the arrest of Maduro and up to $10 million for the arrest of each of the other officials. Barr declined to comment on whether the United States will deploy the military to apprehend Maduro and the other defendants.

Barr said the Justice Department did not contact self-proclaimed Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido about the cases.

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