An alleged Colombian drug trafficker accused of having ties to the Mexican organization Joaquin ” El Chapo “Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, appeared before a federal judge in Miami on Monday , but the hearing was held behind closed doors by order of the judge.
Immediately after the hearing started with Dolly Cifuentes , Judge Joan Lenard ordered the audience leave the room. Only a few people were present, including the defendant, her attorney Bonnie Klapper, prosecutor Andrea Hoffman, one interpreter and several policemen.
According to court records contained in the online system of the federal courts, Cifuentes Villa was due to Lenard to change the declaration of innocence that had been made in August 2012.
In 2010, the U.S. government accused Cifuentes, dubbed the “minor” with conspiracy to import and manufacture cocaine knowing that it would be imported into the United States, and to manufacture and distribute cocaine in Guatemala and Colombia and to import these drugs into this country .
In total, the authorities made five charges that carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
However, due to an agreement between Colombia and the United States, Cifuentes cannot face a life sentence or death. At the hearings where the accused changed her initial statement of innocence to guilty, also typically announced a plea deal. Through these agreements undertake to cooperate with the authorities in ongoing investigations, in exchange for a lighter sentence and avoid a trial, a process that is usually longer.
Cifuentes, recently extradited more than a year from her country, would have been a brother’s girlfriend of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. After the hearing of nearly an hour, Klapper the defense attorney refused to comment outside the courtroom to. Lenard said the judge had ordered court documents remain secret. Cifuentes entered the courtroom minutes before Lenard request removal of those present.
She was dressed in a short sleeveless camisole and beige pants. Her face was pale. A woman who also left the room said it was the lawyer of Cifuentes in Colombia, who said that the defense of the accused had asked that the hearing be reserved. The woman, who spoke Spanish, was not to be identified by name.