QCOSTARICA – Colombia’s National Police said it has arrested the top leader of the Oficina de Envigado drug gang, which was founded as the enforcement wing of late drug lord Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel.
Julián Andrey González Vásquez, known “Barny,” was detained in Bogota after he traveled there from Costa Rica, where he had been living since 2007.
According to the Dirección de Migración y Extranjería (Costa Rica’s immigration service), the 35 year old entered the country legally.
However, authorities say he left Costa Rica illegally by way of Panama, where to he then took a flight for Colombia.
Costa Rican authorities say they have been investigating González who is alleged to negotiate drug deals and coordinate drug shipments from Colombia, and for giving the order for murder.
González was detained after leaving a restaurant in Bogota.
Colombia’s National Police said in a press release that returned to Colombia to obstruct the judicial proceedings against him, mainly his extradition to the United States.
Gonzalez is accused of killing two police narcotics officers in Medellin’s Botanical Gardens in July 2012, the release said, adding that he also is suspected in the deaths of three people in 2008 and of overseeing criminal gangs in various Medellin neighborhoods from Costa Rica.
Named after a city in Medellin’s metropolitan area, the Oficina de Envigado was founded in the 1980s by Escobar, who headed the now-defunct Medellin cartel until his death in a shootout with police in December 1993. Initially functioning as a faction of the Medellin mob, it has evolved into a drug-trafficking outfit in its own right.