USA v. El Zabayar, Adel
[SDNY] Former member of Venezuelan National Assembly Adel El Zabayar was charged in Manhattan federal court with participating in a narco-terrorism conspiracy, a cocaine importation conspiracy, and related weapons offenses involving the use and possession of machineguns and destructive devices, all based on his support of the Venezuelan Cártel de Los Soles and designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), Hizballah, and Hamas. El Zabayar is a member of the Cártel de Los Soles, or "Cartel of the Suns." The Cartel's name refers to the sun insignias affixed to the uniforms of high-ranking Venezuelan military officials. For more than two decades, Cartel members, including El Zabayar and Maduro Moros, have abused the Venezuelan people and corrupted the legitimate institutions of Venezuela – including parts of the military, intelligence apparatus, legislature, and the judiciary – to facilitate the importation of tons of cocaine into the United States. The Cartel sought not only to enrich its members and enhance their power, but also to "flood" the United States with cocaine and inflict the drug's harmful and addictive effects on users in the United States. The Cártel de Los Soles has worked in coordination with designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including the FARC, Hizballah, and Hamas. El Zabayar, in particular, has, among other things, participated in weapons-for-cocaine negotiations with the FARC, obtained anti-tank rocket launchers from the Middle East for the FARC as partial payment for cocaine, and recruited terrorists from Hizballah and Hamas for the purpose of helping to plan and organize attacks against United States interests.