By David Sánchez
For more than a decade, Colombian Germán Alberto Pérez Ocampo has allegedly supplied cocaine to major international drug trafficking groups, including Los Cachiros in Honduras, the Clan Úsuga in Colombia, and the Sinaloa Cartel, La Familia Michocana, and the Beltrán Leyva Organization, which are Mexican transnational criminal enterprises.
“Germán Alberto Pérez Ocampo is one of the last remaining ‘old guard’ drug traffickers in Colombia,” said A. D. Wright, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami field division. “Through his criminal association with high level Mexican drug traffickers, Germán Alberto Pérez Ocampo was able to export multi-ton kilo quantities of cocaine.”
Meanwhile, his brother, Santiago Pérez Ocampo, has worked as German’s enforcer, and is suspected of helping him run his drug enterprise, according to Colombian and U.S. authorities.
The two brothers remain at large – but now, thanks to international cooperation between Colombia and the United States, they’re facing strict financial penalties. On November 6, the U.S. Treasury Department named them as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). It also sanctioned Germán’s business, Compra Venta Gerpez, an import and resale company in the city of Tuluá in the Department of Valle del Cauca.
“Despite being a prominent narcotics trafficker, Germán Alberto Pérez Ocampo evaded law enforcement for more than a decade,” Adam J. Szubin, the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said in a prepared statement. “His work supplying cocaine to many of the most violent drug cartels targeted by the U.S. government underscores his global reach, and it is time that he is brought to justice.”
The U.S. Treasury worked cooperatively with the Mexican federal government and the DEA to impose the sanctions.
This announcement comes less than two months after it imposed financial sanctions on eight alleged leaders of La Oficina de Envigado, an organized crime group based in Medellin. The Treasury identified the eight suspects as: Juan Carlos Mesa Vallejo, Julián Andrey González Vásquez, Diego Alberto Muñoz Agudelo, Freyner Alfonso Ramírez García, Jesús David Hernández Grisales, Rubiel Medina Cardona, Didier de Jesús Ríos López and Edinson Rodolfo Rojas.
And in June, the Treasury Department designated La Oficina de Envigado as an SDNT. La Oficina engages in narco-trafficking, extortion, and murder-for-hire, according to the Treasury Department.
Since June 2000, Treasury officials have named more than 1,600 individuals and entities under the Kingpin Act, according to the Treasury Department. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil fines of up to $1.075 million (USD) to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million (USD).