Local February 19, 2013 | 3:28 pm

Retired Admiral edges closer to U.S. extradition on drug indictment

Santo Domingo.- The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against a motion by former Antinarcotics Agency (DNCD) operations chief Francisco A. Guerrero Hiraldo to identify his accusers, for which the hearings on the U.S. extradition request will continue.

The Criminal Chamber justices set a hearing in the Appellate Court for March 11, when Hiraldo will have to defend against extradition, for his alleged link with former Army captain Quirino Paulino, now being held in the U.S.

The retired Navy Admiral’s attorneys claimed that in 31 years of service, 14 of them in the DNCD, Hiraldo never spoke, nor associated with any of the witnesses or defendants cited in the indictment.

Hiraldo, wanted by the New York South District Court, charged with helping South American and U.S. drug cartels from 2001 to 2009, allegedly used his post to become an "international drug agent," protecting traffickers who sold narcotics in the U.S.

The indictments list at least four witnesses, three of whom pleaded guilty in the U.S., who detailed how Hiraldo protected the drug shipments of several organizations, to smuggle into and out of Dominican Republic, prior to reaching American territory.

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