Drug kingpin nabbed in Brazil, DEA says
100 others arrested in past two days in four countries
Colombian Pablo Rayo-Montano tries to cover his face as federal police in Brazil arrest him.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A man on the United States' list of most-wanted international drug traffickers was arrested Wednesday morning in Brazil, officials said.
Pablo Rayo-Montano faces indictments in Brazil and the United States. The U.S. indictment, returned in Miami, includes charges related to cocaine distribution and money laundering.
He was arrested by Brazilian authorities at his residence in Sao Paulo, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said.
The DEA said the arrest of Rayo-Montano followed a three-year operation by the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Panama that targeted the Rayo-Montano drug cartel.
The agency says Operation Twin Oceans has dismantled the cartel. The DEA accuses the organization of smuggling more than 15 tons of Colombian cocaine into the United States and Europe every month.
As part of Operation Twin Oceans, the government of Panama seized three islands off its coast that were owned by the Rayo-Montano organization, the DEA said.
Panama, Colombia and Brazil have also taken control of other assets, including yachts, fishing trawlers and various businesses. The investigation has prevented 52 tons of cocaine from reaching the streets, the DEA said.
Authorities in Panama, Brazil and Colombia arrested about 100 other people allegedly connected to the organization, the DEA said, and the United States brought six people into custody. Four of those were arrested in Miami, one in Los Angeles and one in Indiana.
The DEA said Rayo-Montano, who is in his late 40s, has been involved in drug trafficking for almost two decades. He is the 42nd person arrested on the U.S. list of alleged drug traffickers designated as "consolidated priority organization targets."
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