A drug cartel boss who used plastic surgery to evade police for 30 years has been arrested in Brazil.
Luiz Carlos da Rocha, nicknamed the White Head, is in the custody of the Brazilian Federal Police facing charges of being part of a drug trafficking operation involving jungle warehouses and a fleet of airplanes.
According to police, Da Rocha was arrested Friday as part of Operation Spectrum, a police effort to clampdown on drug trafficking which has so far seen seizures of $10 million worth of luxury vehicles, aircraft and property.
Da Rocha has a long list of drug, money laundering and weapons convictions which could see him serve as much as 50 years in prison, investigators say.
He is said to have been living under the pseudonym Vitor Luiz de Moraes and over the years underwent plastic surgery to hide his true identity.
Da Rocha is suspected of being a major player in a violent gang which distributes cocaine throughout South America, as well as to the US and Europe. The group is estimated to have been able to carry out secret five-ton deliveries of cocaine into Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro every month.
“The cocaine was transported in small airplanes that left the producing countries of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, using Venezuelan airspace destined for farms in Brazil, on the border between the states of Pará and Mato Grosso,” a Brazilian Federal Police statement read.
“After being discharged from a drug plane, cocaine was placed in truck and carts, whose destination was the state of Sao Paulo for distribution to criminal factions in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, or Port of Santos, from where it was exported to Europe or the United States.”
Further raids are expected to be carried out in Paraguay in connection with the arrest.