RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Minister of Justice Tarso Genro approved Tuesday night the extradition of Colombian drug dealer Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia to the United States, local media reported Wednesday.
The necessary legal procedures have been finished and the extradition is expected to take place this or next week after final approval from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, according to the justice ministry.
Abadia, arrested on Aug. 7, 2007 in Sao Paulo, used to head the Norte del Valle Cartel, which is one of the largest drug trafficking rings in the world.
In March this year, Brazil's Federal Supreme Court voted to extradite Abadia to the United States under the condition that he be exempted from the death penalty.
Abadia had been sentenced to 30 years in prison in Brazil, after confessing to money laundering, identity theft and other criminal charges.
Abadia is also said to be responsible for over 300 deaths. The U.S. government said his cartel was responsible for international drug trafficking involving 1,000 tons of cocaine, as well as murder and money laundering.
Abadia is currently serving his term in Brazil's Campo Grande Federal Penitentiary. In early August, he and Brazilian drug dealer Fernandinho Beira-Mar were accused of heading an extortion scheme in the prison.
They had planned to kidnap President Lula's children and several senators and federal judges to buy their freedom.