Seven Colombian Nationals Extradited to US for Alleged Murder of DEA Agent

Seven Colombian Nationals Extradited to US for Alleged Murder of DEA Agent

HOUSTON, Texas–Seven Colombian nationals were recently extradited to the U.S.–they are each accused of playing a part in the kidnapping and murder of Special Agent James Terry Watson of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Suspects in the case are accused of luring victims into cabs in Bogotá, Colombia. Once a victim had entered the vehicle, the driver would send a signal to the other defendants. The victim would then be attacked and stolen from. 

On June 20, 2013, Special Agent Watson entered one such cab. Inside of the vehicle, a stun gun and knife were used on Watson–he ultimately died after being stabbed. 

The seven suspects allegedly involved in the incident are each charged with two counts of second degree murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to kidnap.

A press release from the DEA states that the defendants in the case are: Gerardo Figueroa Sepulveda, 39; Omar Fabian Valdes Gualtero, 27; Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, 27; Hector Leonardo Lopez, 34; Julio Estiven Gracia Ramirez, 31; and Andrés Alvaro Oviedo-Garcia, 22.

Another Colombian national is also facing charges in relation to the case; Wilson Daniel Peralta-Bocachica, 31, is accused of destroying evidence related to Agent Watson’s murder. 

Attorney General Eric H. Holder said of their extradition, “With the extradition of these suspects, we are one step closer to ensuring that justice is served for the kidnapping and murder of an American hero. Special Agent Watson gave his life in the service of his country.  We owe him, and his family, a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay.  The Justice Department will never waver in our commitment to ensure that those who commit acts of violence against our best and bravest can be caught and held accountable.”

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart reportedly added, “DEA Special Agent James ‘Terry’ Watson was a brave and talented special agent who represented everything good about federal law enforcement and our DEA family. We will never forget Terry’s sacrifice on behalf of the American people during his 13 years of service, nor will DEA ever forget the outstanding work of the Colombian National Police and our other law enforcement partners. Their efforts quickly led to the arrest and extradition of those accused of committing this heinous act.”

The extradited suspects will go before Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis on July 9, according to the DEA. 

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate