- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Colombian national was sentenced to 27 months in prison for bribing a federal agent, resulting in the dismissal of an indictment filed against an alleged drug kingpin.

Juan Carlos Velasco Cano, 49, plead guilty to plying Christopher Ciccione — an special agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations — with $20,000 in cash, dinner, drinks, prostitutes and an extended hotel stay in Bogota, Colombia, the Department of Justice said. In exchange, Ciccione used his position to obtain the dismissal of an indictment against accused drug trafficker, Jose Bayron Piedranhita Ceballos, a Colombian national.

Velasco is alleged to have arranged communications between Ciccione and Mr. Piedranhita and received confidential law enforcement information, including the names of a confidential source and cooperating witnesses.


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Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. of the Southern District of Florida, sentenced Velasco.

Ciccione will be sentenced on February 9.



ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated the case.

The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the Office of the Judicial Attaché in Colombia and the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted the investigation.

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