6 Colombians charged in killing of DEA agent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six Colombian nationals were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday 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 Bogota, Colombia 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,” says the indictment.

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, but he soon collapsed and was brought to a hospital, where he died 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-Garcia, 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.

A Justice Department official declined comment on the question of extraditing the seven to the U.S.

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