WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury indicted six Colombian nationals for the kidnapping and murder of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent. A seventh Colombian was charged with trying to destroy evidence in the case.
The indictment alleges that DEA agent Terry Watson was slain at the hands of an organized group of robbers who operated taxi cabs in Bogotá, Colombia's capital, in order to lure victims whom they perceived as wealthy.
The defendants, who are all under arrest in Colombia, targeted Watson for what the defendants called a "millionaire's ride," reads the indictment.
“With today's arrests, we take an important step towards ensuring that those allegedly responsible for his senseless murder are brought to justice," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. "We also send an unmistakable message to all who commit acts of violence against America's law enforcement professionals: no matter who you are or where you live, we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
A Justice Department official declined comment on the question of extraditing the seven to the U.S.
Watson was working for the U.S. Mission in Colombia when he entered a taxi cab on June 20 operated by one of the defendants and was then allegedly attacked by two other defendants — one who used a stun gun on Watson and another who stabbed Watson with a knife.
"Watson was able to escape from the defendants' custody," stated a copy of the indictment provided to Fox News Latino. "He soon collapsed and was brought to the hospital, where he was declared dead. He died from blood loss resulting from multiple stab wounds."
The indictment was handed up in federal court in Alexandria, Va.
The defendants are Gerardo Figueroa Sepulveda, 38; Omar Fabian Valdes Gualtero, 27; Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, 26; Hector Leonardo Lopez, 23; Julio Estiven Gracia Ramierez, 30; and Andrés Alvaro Oviedo-García, 21. Each was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to kidnap. Oviedo-Garcia was also charged with two counts of assault. In addition, the grand jury indicted Wilson Daniel Peralta-Bocachica, 30, also a Colombian national, for allegedly trying to destroy evidence associated with the murder.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.