According to CNN, federal prosecutors with the Department of Justice are expected to announce criminal charges against Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and other high-ranking Venezuelan officials.
The Southern District of NY announced on Twitter it will be holding a news conference at 11 a.m.to announce "significant law enforcement actions related to Venezuelan government officials" where the charges against Maduro and others are expected to be announced.
The charges involved some 15 defendants between Maduro and other political and military leaders in Venezuela. Barr said that Maduro's regime gives the FARC, as the group is known, authority to fly drug-filled planes over Venezuelan airspace and safely manufacture cocaine on its territory.
Barr did not provide any evidence of drug seizures, but claimed the United States authorities have observed the trafficking operation at work in Central America. "Those 250 metric tons equate to 30m lethal doses".
The Justice Department does have a track record of bringing major drug offenders to face trial, including Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera - the infamous "El Chapo" - who was convicted in Brooklyn last year and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. Today's announcement is focused on rooting out the extensive corruption within the Venezuelan government - a system constructed and controlled to enrich those at the highest levels of the government.
The U.S. State Department is also expected to designate Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism. Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY, will formally discuss the charges at a news conference.
"The name they chose reflects the cartel's identity and operations", Berman said.
Barr said the United States would "explore all options" to put the accused Venezuelan leaders in custody.
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