Daniel Rendon Herrera (C)
Colombian Navy Finds Clandestine Cartel Shipyard With 2 Narco Submarines Photo by Rodrigo Arangua/AFP via Getty Images

An infamous Colombian drug kingpin and paramilitary leader was sentenced on Monday to over 35 years in a U.S. prison. Daniel Rendon Herrera, 57, was handed the sentence by a federal judge in Brooklyn for operating a criminal enterprise and collaborating with a foreign terrorist organization.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, the Colombian drug boss is known more infamously as “Don Mario” dubbed by the Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jame Hunt. Herrera was notoriously reputed for kidnapping and murder as means to rule his drug operations in trafficking tons of cocaine. U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry handed down his sentence which will run concurrently with a 33-year sentence given by the Colombian courts. Herrera pleaded guilty to all charges in November 2021 with the court ordering him to pay a forfeiture of $45,750,00 million.

Back in 2009, he ruled over 16 territories and had thousands of paramilitary officers on his payroll with “sicarios” or hitmen carrying out their murderous acts. Herrera was convicted for engaging in a criminal enterprise as a leader of a private military force for a multibillion-dollar drug cartel known as the “Clan del Golfo” or CDG. He was also slapped with 15 years imprisonment for providing material support to the Autodensas Unidas de Colombia, a designated foreign terrorist group.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that his sentence marks the end of the criminal career of one of Colombia’s most feared narco-terrorists who was responsible for importing vast amounts of cocaine, instigating violence, and perpetuating drug abuse, that has caused irreparable damage to Colombia as well as the United States. Peace went on to thank the commitment and effort of the DEA in bringing to justice high-level drug traffickers such as Herrera who cause the most harm to communities.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll said that private armies of drug cartels may seem a world away, but ultimately leave a destructive impact on communities in New York City. He mentioned the sentencing also displayed the FBI and its partner's commitment to taking down the heads of such criminal organizations and holding them responsible for the damage they leave.

Daniel Rendon Herrera (C)
Daniel Rendon Herrera (C), a.k.a. "Don Mario", is heavily escorted by police officers on April 15, 2009 in Bogota, Colombia. Rendon Herrera, Colombia's biggest drug kingpin for whom the government had offered a 2.1-million-dollar bounty, was arrested by a special unit of 315 police in Antioquia Department. Photo by Rodrigo Arangua/AFP via Getty Images

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