(DailyMail) - Colombian authorities have arrested a drug trafficker known as the 'Prince of Submarines' who is wanted by a federal court in Florida for helping one of Mexico's most powerful cartels in shipping $540 million worth of cocaine.
Oscar Quintero, 33, used submersibles and speedboats to send shipments of cocaine from the Pacific coast departments of Nariño and Cauca to members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in Central America, authorities say.
The deadly cartel then moved the massive shipments into Mexico before they were smuggled across southern United States border. Quintero's organization also used the Dominican Republic as a hub to ship cocaine to the United States.
Authorities claim he had arranged the shipment of 12 tons of the Type A party drug.
During their investigation, Colombian security forces seized seven tons of cocaine worth at least $300 million.
Quintero was arrested January 29 in the Valle del Cauca municipality of Darién, however it was not revealed by the Colombian National Police until late Thursday night.
Quintero's extradition has been requested by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
His transnational drug smuggling ring depended on the assistance of organized criminal groups in Colombia, including left-wing guerrilla groups.
They used speedboats and submarines to move the drugs into Central America before it was turned over to the cartel.
Colombian National Police director, General Jorge Vargas, said intelligence gathered from underground parties, undercover surveillance and drone flights made Quintero's capture possible .
The operation also led to the arrest of 12 smugglers of different nationalities. At least four speedboats and several submarines were seized.
Vargas added that Quintero provided financial backing to criminal groups in southern Colombia.
Quintero, Vargas said, built a low profile persona despite his taste for expensive cars and armed guards at his home.
He is the owner of a $3million business empire that included a shipping company, several farms, hotels, car washes and cargo trucks.
'Outside of the coordination of the shipment of illicit substances, he was also in charge of the criminal income of the organization, money laundering through companies that provide services to soccer institutions,' Vargas said.
'Similarly, through threats and collection offices, he pressured members of the criminal organization to fulfill their criminal purposes.'
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