Washington, DC - A leader of a Guatemalan drug trafficking organization was sentenced today to 23 years in prison for his participation in an international drug trafficking conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Wendy Woolcock of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Operations Division.
Waldemar Lorenzana-Lima was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the District of Columbia following an August 18, 2014, guilty plea to his participation in an international drug trafficking conspiracy. The court also ordered Lorenzana-Lima to forfeit $50,949,000.
As Lorenzana-Lima admitted in connection with his guilty plea, from March 1996 to November 2007, Lorenzana-Lima was a member of a drug trafficking organization that would receive, inventory, and store large quantities of cocaine from Colombia at Lorenzana-Lima’s properties in Guatemala, for eventual importation into Mexico and the United States. The court concluded at sentencing that Lorenzana-Lima’s conduct qualified him as an “organizer or leader” of the drug trafficking organization within the meaning of the applicable sentencing guidelines.
On April 27, 2010, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control designated Lorenzana-Lima and his sons, Eliu Lorenzana-Cordon and Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, as specially designated narcotics traffickers. Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, this designation applied as a result of their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking, their significant ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, and their use of family business and agricultural holdings in Guatemala as a front to aid in the northbound movement of illegal drugs through Central America.
The DEA Special Operations Division’s Bilateral Investigations Unit and Guatemala City Country Office led the investigation, which was supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs. In particular, the Justice Department wishes to convey its gratitude to the government of Guatemala for its steadfast commitment, collaboration, and assistance in the investigation, extradition, and prosecution of this case.
Trial Attorneys Brett Reynolds and Anthony Aminoff of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and Trial Attorney Emily Cohen of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section are prosecuting the case.