Colombian man appears in Columbus courtroom on drug conspiracy charges

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Sergio L. Valderrama-Areiza appeared in U.S. District Court in Columbus on Friday.

The 35-year old Colombian national is charged with conspiring to ship thousands of kilograms of cocaine worth tens of millions of dollars to the United States. The U.S. Southern District of Ohio says Valderrama-Areiza allegedly recruited fishermen and commercial vessels to transport the drugs.

Law enforcement reportedly seized more than 250 kilograms of cocaine related to the case in Panama, followed by a second seizure of 278 kilograms in 2018-2019.

The conspiracy charges carry 10 years up to life in prison.

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