FILE – In this 7 August 2007 file photo, Colombia's Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia arrives at a federal police station…
NEW YORK – A former colombian drug hero known for an extreme plastic surgery makeover to hide his identity tested on Thursday during an American trial of his lucrative drug dealer with notorious Mexican counterpart Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman
Asked about his distorted facial features, Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia explained that he had undergone at least three operations that changed “my jawbone, my cheekbone, my eyes, my mouth, my ears, my nose“.
Ramirez Abadia told the jury that he mutated the Colombian authorities to destroy criminal acts that called him to better stay the law when he supervised the Norte del Valle cartel.
In a 20-year career, the witness found that he smuggled 400,000 kilograms, ordered 150 murders and accumulated a fortune so great that he lost $ 1 billion after his arrest in Brazil in 2007.
Ramirez Abadia was handed over to the United States, where he charged guilty of murder and argued and agreed to become a government witness in major drug prosecutions such as Guzman. He was the third former drug trafficker to prove so far at the trial in the federal court in Brooklyn, where Guzman has accused guilty of conspiracy and other charges.
On Thursday, Ramirez Abadia described a meeting in Mexico in the early 1990s, where he reached an agreement with Guzman, whereby the Colombian cartel would fly his cocaine to Mexico for the Sinaloa cartel to smuggle it to Los Angeles and New York City, said the witness.
When Guzman asked for the cleanest product, Ramirez Abadia was glad to force because he wanted “a reputation for myself because my cocaine would be so good,” he said.
Guzman also demanded a greater reduction of revenue than other Mexican kingpins because his network was so effective to get it across the border.
“I’m much faster. You’ll see,” he reminded Guzman bragging.
After Ramirez Abadia moved to Brazil and cleared his face, he looked so different that drug investigators were forced to use voice recognition technology to make the positive identification needed for a keyword, his lawyer said after his capture. He was found in a luxury home with a gym, sauna, pool and nearly $ 1 million in stashed cash.