12-2-05 - Two Colombian nationals have been sentenced by a federal judge for their role in a $25 million weapons-for-cocaine plot involving Texas businessmen and Colombian terrorists.
Fanny Cecilia Barrera de Amaris, 52, was sentenced Thursday to five years and one month in prison. Carlos Adolfo Romero Panchano, 48, was sentenced to three years in prison. Both pleaded guilty to providing support to a terrorist organization.
The pair were involved in a deal to swap drugs for weapons to be used by the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, a right-wing militia listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department.
Authorities said Barrera inspected weapons for sale and Romero Panchano recruited AUC members to participate in the deal.
An FBI undercover operation also netted Uwe Jensen, 69, and his boss, Carlos Ali Romero Varela, 46. The Houston-Area businessmen pleaded guilty to providing support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. They have yet to be sentenced.
Two AUC commanders were also charged. Elkin Alberto Arroyave Ruiz pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Edgar Fernando Blanco Puerta has appealed his arrest.