ADDS COLOMBIAN DRUG CARTEL LEADER TO MOST WANTED FUGITIVE
Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez joined an exclusive club that
no one really wants to join – the FBI’s Ten Most
is Montoya? Reputedly a principal leader of the
most powerful and violent drug trafficking organization
in Colombia, the North Valley Drug Cartel (NVC). Since
1990, the cartel has allegedly exported more than 1.2 million
pounds of cocaine into the United States and routinely
used murders, kidnappings and brutality along the way.
is he charged with? In a federal indictment unsealed
May 6, Montoya and nine of his associates were charged
with illegal trafficking of cocaine; laundering drug proceeds;
bribing Colombian law enforcement officials and politicians;
kidnapping, torturing, and murdering informants, rival
drug traffickers and others; and even wiretapping Colombian
and U.S. law enforcement officials to monitor their activities.
He was originally indicted in 1999 on violations of federal
drug trafficking laws. To date, over 48,000 pounds of cocaine
have been seized from the North Valley Cartel.
than "just" a law breaker. In 2003,
the cartel split into two – and Montoya declared
war on the other faction, creating a public safety crisis
in the city of Cali and surrounding areas of southwest
Colombia. Violence has spilled into the streets and innocent
citizens have been caught in the crossfire. The death toll
from the clashes over the past six months tops 1,000.
that’s not all. Montoya and other traffickers
allegedly have participated in several notorious massacres
and "social cleansing" of Colombian peasants.
He also has allegedly formed an alliance with a paramilitary
group, the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
-- designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S.
State Department – to protect the NVC’s drug
routes, laboratories, and associates.
State Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for
information leading to Montoya’s arrest and conviction.
feet tall, weighs 230 pounds, has brown eyes and black
hair, and is marked by surgical scars on his back and legs.
Among his aliases are "Don Diego," "El Señor
de la Guerra" and "El Ciclista."
should you do if you have information about him? Immediately
contact your nearest FBI office or
local law enforcement agency. If you’re outside the
United States, contact the nearest
U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
information about Montoya and the rest of the FBI’s
Top Ten Most Wanted, click
Note: The individuals
pictured or identified here may have been apprehended or may no longer
be wanted by law enforcement since the above information was posted on
this website. Please check our Wanted by the FBI
website or contact your local FBI office for