Three Colombians Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Support the FARC and Alien Smuggling Charges

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WASHINGTON – Three Colombian nationals have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to provide material support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and alien smuggling, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.

Victor Daniel Salamanca, 64, Carmen Maria Ponton Caro, 38, and Edizon Ramirez Gamboa, 40, all from Bogota, Colombia, pleaded guilty this week in Miami before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard.

Salamanca and Ponton Caro entered their pleas Dec. 7 for conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. Ramirez, a former immigration inspector with Colombia’s Department of Administrative Security (DAS), pleaded guilty Dec. 5 to conspiracy to commit alien smuggling and bringing an alien to the United States for private financial gain.

The three were arrested along with seven co-defendants in Colombia in January and February of 2006, after working with undercover U.S. government informants. As part of an ICE sting operation, the informants posed as FARC operatives seeking illicit travel to Miami for the purpose of laundering FARC drug money from the United States to Colombia in order to finance additional drug and arms purchases for the FARC.

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