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Three Colombians Indicted in Drugging of GIs

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Three Colombian nationals are facing federal charges in Miami accusing them of drugging two U.S. soldiers at a Bogota bar three years ago to steal their debit and credit cards and their phones, U.S. law enforcement officials announced Friday.

Jeffersson Arango, Kenneth Uribe and Pedro Silva have been indicted on kidnapping, assault and conspiracy charges in the March 2020 drugging, abduction and robbery.

According to court documents, the soldiers went to an upscale Bogota bar late one night to drink, watch a soccer game and dance.

Hours later, one soldier was found stumbling down a Bogota street and the other was found passed out in his apartment, with both missing their wallets, phones and other possessions. Blood tests showed they had been drugged.

An investigation by the FBI and the Colombian National Police found bar surveillance video that shows the three and possibly others drugging the soldiers’ drinks and escorting them out of the bar after 2 a.m. and into a waiting car. Bank and other surveillance video shows Arango using their debit and credit cards at ATMs and stores, the U.S. government alleges.

After the trio were identified, Colombian police began intercepting their phone communications, in which they are alleged to have talked about robbing people they drugged at bars and complaining that the pandemic shutdown had halted their criminal enterprise.

Arango and Uribe were arrested in December; documents do not show if Silva has been arrested.

FBI Special Agent Orlando Quant said in an affidavit that Arango admitted drugging the soldiers with the others and taking them to a hotel. He said he was able to get one soldier’s debit card PIN by convincing him that he needed to pay for something. He then told the drugged soldier that a cellphone was a payment pad and had him type in the number, which he later used to withdraw money.

Arango made his first appearance in Miami’s federal court Friday after being extradited; court documents do not show that Uribe or Silva has been extradited.

Source : NWA