Jeffersson Arango Castellanos, 35, who goes by the nickname Harry Potter has been extradited to the US to face trial for drugging, kidnapping and robbing two US soldiers in Colombia.
Jeffersson first appeared in a Miami court on Friday for kidnapping and assaulting the US Army soldiers, who were stationed in Bogota in March 2020.
An affidavit submitted to a federal court by an FBI agent suggests Arango confessed in an interview in December 2020 to drugging and robbing the men, identified only as EL and LG.
On March 5, 2020, the two soldiers were seen on surveillance cameras just after 11pm entering the Colombian Pub in Bogota’s Zone T – a popular spot for bars and clubs.
According to the FBI agent’s affidavit, at around the same time, Arango and a female accomplice named in court documents as Kenny Julieth Uribe, 33, were both seen entering the bar.
At around 1am one of the two soldiers was seen dancing with a woman in the bar, but half an hour later, when he went to approach that same woman, Arango placed his arm around him and directed him towards the back of the pub.
Soon after 2am the soldier was seen stumbling out of the pub, at which point Arango, who was wearing a red polo shirt with a white collar, blue ripped jeans, and bright white sneakers followed him onto the street.
A few minutes later Arango returned to the bar alone, this time wearing a brown leather jacket, according to the court documents.
The soldiers were next seen at 2.35am walking down the street with both Arango and Uribe. Uribe had her arm around the waist of one of the soldiers and he had his arm on her shoulder as he struggled to maintain his balance, the affidavit says.
Around ten minutes later, Uribe and the two soldiers were seen getting into a Renault car via the rear driver-side door.
Arango meanwhile approached a street vendor before returning to the car and getting in the front passenger door before it drove off.
Then, in the early hours of March 6, surveillance footage showed Arango and Uribe going to various ATM machines and using credit and debit cards to withdraw cash.
He and Uribe were later seen at around 7.30am using one of the soldier’s American Express credit cards to pay for a drink and another item at a café in a shopping mall.
After identifying Arango using surveillance cameras trained on a particular ATM machine, Colombian police started tapping his phone.
Through listening to a series of calls made between Arango, Uribe and a third alleged conspirator, Pedro Jose Silva Ochoa, the police concluded that the group had been scheming to routinely drug and rob people attending bars in Bogota.
In one call Arango could be heard saying he was ‘living on the minimum’ because COVID-19 had meant many bars had closed and he no longer had anyone to steal from.
Surveillance video shows the moment one of the two soldiers was dragged by Arango, limp and seemingly intoxicated, from the passenger seat of a car and left by the side of the road in the early hours of the morning.
Castellanos and his team are arrested and accused of scheming to repeatedly drug victims at bars in Bogota by spiking their drinks.
Colombian news site NotiCentro1 reported that the gang went by the name ‘Los Tomaseros’ and that Arango often posed as ‘Harry Potter’.
Their eventual arrest came not long after a woman, Alexandra Anaya, 33, died from an overdose of a drug believed to have been administered by the group.
Anaya was the sister of a former Colombian prosecutor.
Arango and the two others could face a maximum of life in prison if they are convicted, though it is not clear whether the other two were also extradited to the US.