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Although he was originally sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988, he reached a collaboration agreement in August 1991 and became a witness against Panama dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega.
Pablo Escobar’s crime partner and one Medellin Cartel co-founders Carlos Lehder was released Tuesday after a long prison sentence in the U.S. and deported to Germany.
As stated by his lawyer, the 70-year-old ex-convict finished serving a sentence for drug trafficking in a Florida jail.
After his release, he arrived in Frankfurt on a flight from New York to receive medical treatment due to his delicate health condition.
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Lehder acquired German citizenship through his father, a migrant in Colombia. With Escobar, he was one of Medellin’s cartel leaders, the organization lead the global cocaine trade in the 1980s.
He was captured in 1987 during a party held in a farm and extradited to the United States.
Although he was originally sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988, he reached a collaboration agreement in August 1991 and became a witness against Panama dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega. He was then part of the U.S government’s witness protection program.
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According to Lehder’s lawyer Oscar Arroyave, thousands of Colombian drug traffickers who end in U.S. jails serve less time than Lehder.
Nobody accused of drug trafficking goes to trial in the U.S. anymore,” he explained, adding that “had he(Lehder) pled guilty, he would´ve been home 15 years ago. In today´s world, there are drug traffickers far bigger than Carlos who pay five to six years.
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According to the lawyer, the former “cocaine cowboy” has no interest in returning to Colombia and German authorities assisted in allowing him to resettle in his adopted homeland.