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Colombia: Chief of assassins for hire arrested

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Colombian officials say they have arrested the chief of a murder-for-hire outfit based in Medellin whose gunmen avenged unpaid debts for drug traffickers.

National police director Gen. Jose Leon says 38-year-old Erickson Vargas Cardona, better known as Sebastian, also exported hundreds of tons of cocaine to the Zetas cartel in Mexico over at least three years.

Officials say they intend to extradite him to New York’s Southern District.

Vargas became chief of the so-called “Office of Envigado” after its previous head was arrested in Venezuela in November. The organization dates back to the era of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Leon says a tipster led police to Vargas and a $675,000 reward will be paid.

He says Vargas is wanted for murder in the July killings of two police officers.

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