Darli Velazquez-Armas: Spanish police have arrested a suspected cocaine trafficker

Spanish police have arrested a suspected cocaine trafficker who was wanted in the United States and had undergone facial surgery to avoid detection, nabbing him after a foot chase through a cemetery, officials said Monday.
Darli Velazquez-Armas, a 33-year-old Cuban citizen, was arrested last week in the Canary Islands in a raid coordinated with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Interior Ministry said.
According to U.S. court documents, Velazquez-Armas was arrested on Jan. 30 in a DEA sting operation involving 130 kilos (290 pounds) of cocaine shipped to Miami from Ecuador.
A U.S. grand jury indicted him on drug trafficking charges. He pleaded not guilty and posted a $1 million (€700,000) bond Feb. 20, and was required to surrender his travel documents. His trial was scheduled to begin April 16. Velazquez-Armas failed to appear at a March court hearing, and was declared a fugitive on May 14.
Spanish authorities caught up with him in June in a Madrid suburb, but he escaped a dragnet after ramming his car into a police car.
Velazquez-Armas was later spotted in the town of Vecindario on Gran Canaria, one of Spain's Canary Islands, where he had continued to engage in drug trafficking, and officials put him under surveillance, the Spanish ministry said.
Last Friday, police chased him from Vecindario to the capital city Las Palmas. At one point the suspect got out of his car and fled on foot through a cemetery. He later attempted two carjackings before police finally arrested him in an industrial area, and even then he tried to grab an officer's gun, the ministry said.

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