“Otoniel’s” lawyer says he is mentally “strong”

NEW YORK (HPD) — The attorney for former Clan del Golfo leader Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, better known as “Otoniel,” said Tuesday that the United States has somewhat eased his client’s restrictive prison rules so he can speak out. with relatives and that Úsuga David is in good spirits.

“He is strong emotionally,” Paul Nalven said at the end of a hearing on the case in federal court in Brooklyn. “He is a child of the cycle of violence in Colombia. He is a military man. I respect him a lot, I admire him. He is holding on. We must take things gracefully.”

According to US prosecutors, Úsuga David was the leader of the Clan del Golfo -also called Los Urabeños and Clan Úsuga- between 2012 and until his capture in October 2021. The organization controls huge amounts of territory in the Urabá region of Antioquia. , Colombia, one of the areas that generates the most profits from the sale of drugs given its proximity to the border with Panama and the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

After being extradited from Colombia, Úsuga David pleaded not guilty to drug charges in May. The Colombian faces two accusations: running a criminal enterprise continuously and participating in an international criminal association to manufacture and distribute cocaine. He has been described by US authorities as “one of the most dangerous drug lords in the world.”

On Tuesday, Judge Dora Irizarry set the next hearing for January 25, 2023. Until now, the court hearings have dealt with the health problems of Úsuga David, 50, and the negotiations and exchange of evidence between the prosecutor’s office for the eastern district of new york and the colombian’s lawyers.

Nalven declined to give details of those negotiations to reporters on Tuesday.

“We are still in a preliminary phase during which we are going to be closely negotiating for him, trying to reduce the case and the profile that he has in the United States,” the lawyer said.

On Monday, Judge Irizarry sentenced Daniel Rendón-Herrera, a former leader of the Clan del Golfo and one of the most wanted drug traffickers in Colombia, to 35 years in prison.

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