Mass. Probe Leads To International Drug Charges

An investigation on three continents that started in Boston nearly five years ago has led to drug trafficking and money laundering charges against 20 people.

American, Italian and Colombian authorities announced 19 arrests Thursday. One suspect remains at large.

Investigators say all 20 have ties to a successor to Colombia's defunct Medellin cartel called La Oficina de Envigado. Authorities also seized hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of pounds of cocaine and heroin.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz says law enforcement agencies in Italy and Colombia participated along with Massachusetts state police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

Investigators monitored money and drug pickups and worked leads in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean after an undercover agent in Boston launched the investigation.

This program aired on June 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live