When a federal agent by the name of Christopher Ciccione decided to sell out to a powerful Cali cartel drug lord, the price of his integrity was surprisingly cheap.
For $20,000 in cash bribes, a sex party with Colombian prostitutes at a Marriott hotel in Bogota, a Rolex watch, cocktails and an expensive dinner, the former Homeland Security Investigations agent altered criminal records and told bold-faced lies to his colleagues, bosses and federal prosecutors.
The former South Florida-based agent’s corruption paid off hugely for his cartel buddy. He succeeded in getting federal drug-trafficking charges dropped against Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos in one of the biggest cocaine-smuggling cases in U.S. history.
The drug lord, Piedrahita, will likely never face justice on the dismissed charges in the U.S., prosecutors said. But he was recently arrested in Colombia and may be extradited to face conspiracy, corruption, bribery and fraud charges linked to the agent’s prosecution.