Officials on Tuesday unsealed the indictment of Daniel Vivas Ceron, 34, which alleges the Colombian was the leader of a drug ring he allegedly operated while incarcerated in a medium-security prison in Quebec.
He was taken into custody on July 17 in Panama City by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Panamanian authorities and is awaiting extradition to the U.S. to face drug conspiracy charges, Chris Myers, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of North Dakota, said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Vivas Ceron is the first known non-U.S. citizen to be indicted as a result of the seven-month probe—dubbed Operation Denial—that sprang from the death of 18-year-old Bailey Henke of Grand Forks, who overdosed on fentanyl citrate, a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine, in January.
“We want to try to deny drug traffickers from touching our youth,” said Myers in explanation