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Costa Rica police chief arrested for his ‘role’ with a local drug trafficking ring


Costa Rica police chief arrested and placed in preventive prison for six months for his ‘role’ with a local drug trafficking ring tied to El Chapo’s old Sinaloa Cartel

  • The police chief of Río Cuarto, Costa Rica, identified only by his last name, Barboza Barahona, was arrested for his ties to a drug trafficking ring
  • The apprehension was announced following the arrests of nine members of the network last Wednesday
  • The Costa Rica-based gang reportedly funneled marijuana and cocaine from Colombia for the Sinaloa Cartel
  • The drugs were kept in Costa Rica and shipped via Guatemala to Mexico before the narcotics were smuggled into the United States  
  • The group had been investigated since June 2019; a total of 306 kilos of cocaine, with a U.S. value of $19.9 million, was confiscated 

By Adry Torres For

Published: | Updated:

The police chief of a town in Costa Rica has been arrested for allegedly working with a drug trafficking ring tied to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. 

The Río Cuarto top cop was arrested last week after authorities apprehended two women and nine men that formed part of the organization.

A judge on Sunday placed the 34-year-old officer, identified by his last name, Barboza Barahona, in preventive custody for up to six months, according to Costa Rican newspaper La Nación. 

Four other suspected members also were ordered held without bail for six months.

Barboza Barahona held the treasure’s post with the Costa Rica National Association of Ultralight Pilots.  

Pictured above are 259 kilos of cocaine that were seized by Costa Rica authorities in May. An investigation initiated June 2019 linked a drug trafficking ring in Costa Rica to the Sinaloa Cartel. The group, which reportedly included the police chief of the city of Río Cuarto, received drugs from Colombia which were then shipped to Mexico and the United States

Pictured above are two of the nine alleged members of a drug trafficking ring linked to the Sinaloa Cartel who were arrested last Wednesday in Costa Rica, according to the Judicial Investigation Body

The local networker, which was linked to Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s old Sinaloa Cartel, was part of an investigation which dated back to June 2019, according to the Judicial Investigation Body.

Agents arrested two women and nine men during a series of 11 raids in the provinces of San Carlos, Heredia and Moravia last Wednesday. The investigation netted a total of 13 arrests.

Authorities learned of the drug traffickers’ link to the Sinaloa Cartel while investigating two men who were only identified by their last names, Patterson and Gómez, and who reported directly to a Mexican individual identified as Leal García.

‘It is linked to a group that settled in our country that had a direct relationship with the Sinaloa Cartel and that was using our territory to transport cocaine to Mexico,’ said Walter Espinoza, head of the Judicial Investigation Body.

The apprehensions were part of an investigation that was initiated June 2019 when Costa Rica officials learned the group was receiving cocaine and marijuana from Colombia before it was ferried through Guatemala and eventually to Mexico

Pictured in a motorboat used to traffic drugs by a Costa Rica-based drug ring which was reportedly linked to El Chapo’s old Sinaloa Cartel

The group reportedly stockpiled cocaine and marijuana that was delivered from Colombia before it was moved through Guatemala before reaching Mexico. The massive shipments were then smuggled into the United States.

The Judicial Investigation Body said the drug traffickers also used secret airstrips and vehicles to shuttle the drugs and weapons.

The drug ring allegedly used clandestine airstrips to traffic cocaine and marijuana

Pictured above is some of the ammunition that was seized during 11 raids in Costa Rica 

Pictured above is a rifle belonging to a drug trafficking network in Costa Rica with alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel

Weapons and ammunition seized last Wednesday by Costa Rica authorities as part of 11 raids which led to the arrest of nine individuals who allegedly trafficked cocaine and marijuana to Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel 

The 13-month investigation also led to the arrests of Patterson and Gómez in May when authorities confiscated 259 kilos of cocaine from their minivan during a roadside inspection in Alajuela.

A second bust, also in May, led to the arrest of Leal García and 57 kilos of cocaine.

The seized cocaine stockpile is valued at $15.2 million in the United States.

An unknown number of AK-47s, 9 mm guns, rifles and vehicles were confiscated. 

Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, co-founder of the Sinaloa Cartel, is currently serving a life sentence in the United States


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