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Key witness against DEA agent who stole millions sentenced

Posted at 2:50 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 17:50:30-04

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The star witness in a U.S. investigation of a once-standout Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison after implicating his longtime handler in a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy with the very Colombian cartel criminals he was supposed to be fighting.

The 46-month sentence for Gustavo Yabrudi was handed down Wednesday after a hearing in which a judge in Tampa, Florida, opted to keep secret the location of the DEA informant’s confinement out of concerns for his safety.

Since his arrest last year, Yabrudi has met more than six times with federal agents investigating his DEA handler, José Irizarry. Law enforcement officials believe Irizarry played a leading role in a conspiracy to launder more than $7 million in illicit drug proceeds. He has not been charged.