A judge Wednesday rejected an alleged drug lord's offer to hand over tens of millions of dollars in exchange for a quick extradition to the United States.
Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia had proposed to tell authorities where he has hidden $30 million to $40 million in return for avoiding a prison term in Brazil, for his wife's release from jail and for speedy extradition, federal prosecutor Thamea Danelon said.
Ramirez Abadia also said he would give U.S. authorities information on three accomplices living abroad and one in Brazil. Another of his conditions was to be transferred from the maximum-security prison where he is being held.
"The judge turned down the requests because he said he didn't want to be tied to any kind of agreement at the time of sentencing," Danelon said.
She said the prosecutor's office had accepted Adabia's offer with the exception of the prison transfer, for security reasons.
"It's a shame the judge turned it down, because society could have put the money to good use," Danelon said. "It could have been used to finance social programs ... and maybe to improve the conditions of Brazilian prisons."
Ramirez Abadia is accused of being a leader of the Norte del Valle cartel, which emerged as Colombia's most powerful drug gang in the mid-1990s. He fled to Brazil after a drug conviction in Colombia and allegedly ran the cartel's money laundering operation here.
Nicknamed "Chupeta," or "Lollipop," Ramirez Abadia was arrested last year in Brazil. He faces three U.S. federal indictments on drug and racketeering charges, and has said he prefers to avoid trial in Brazil and begin confinement in the United States as quickly as possible.
The U.S. has requested his extradition, and the case is now under review by Brazil's Supreme Court.
Ramirez Abadia's posh beach homes and rural ranch in Brazil sold for $2.4 million at a state auction last week.