Every once in a while our investigators find interesting stories while working on unrelated background check investigations. After reading CNN, ABC, Wikipedia and several Argentina news sources, we have pieced together the following story. Meet Miss Angie Sanclemente.
This Ringleader of All-Women Drug Ring was a former Colombian beauty queen and lingerie model. But she was believed to be the ringleader of one of the world’s largest drug syndicates. Angie, was said to only hire glamour models to transport drugs from South America to Europe. Her operation is believed to be a “rival empire” to that of her former boyfriend, a Mexican drug baron known as “The Monster.” She formed her own cartel after splitting with him. Valencia recruited other models, whom she is quoted referring to as her “unsuspicious, beautiful angels” as drug traffickers, paying them up to around $5,000 (£3,200) per trip to transport cocaine from Argentina to England by way of Cancún. Her gang was exposed on December 13, 2009, when a 21-year-old woman, “Ariel L,” was arrested with a suitcase containing 55 kg of cocaine at Ezeiza International Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The drug mule made no attempt to hide the cocaine in her suitcase because she’d been told no one would stop her at the airport. Argentine authorities found Angie in a Buenos Aires hostel in May 2010 and sentenced her to six years and eight months in prison. She was released from prison and deported back to Colombia in 2013 after serving only half of her sentence.
Police were able to determine Ms Sanclemente's identity because she had made quite an impression upon her arrival in Argentina, flying first class with a Pomeranian dog, officials said. Valencia's alleged syndicate was believed to have been exposed on 13 December 2009, when a 21-year-old woman, "Ariel L", was arrested with a suitcase containing 55 kg (121 pounds) of cocaine at Ezeiza International Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina. "L" made no attempt to hide the drugs inside her bags, leading authorities to suspect the ring had help from employees. She is reported to have been told that no one at the airport would try to stop her, and an investigation was launched to find employees of the airport with possible links to the syndicate. After questioning "L", three additional arrests were made and a warrant was issued for Valencia's arrest. Authorities believed she was still in Argentina after she fled a hotel where she had been staying with her pomeranian. Investigators attempted to trace her location through the address under which the animal was registered, but it only led them to an abandoned warehouse. In March 2010 Interpol issued an international warrant for her arrest.
Valencia was finally arrested in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 26, 2010, while staying in a local hostel. Police reported that she had registered under a false name and had tried to alter her appearance by dyeing her hair blonde.
She was initially jailed on 27 May 2010 in the "Centro Federal de Detención de Mujeres Unidad número 31" in the city of Ezeiza, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In October of the same year she was moved to the "Instituto Correccional de Mujeres Unidad número 3" also in Ezeiza after she suffered some violent attacks.
She was released from prison and deported back to Colombia on 27 September 2013 after serving only half of her original 6 year and 8-month prison sentence. She is barred from reentering Argentina.
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