Angie Sanclemente Valencia is escorted by police after being arrested at a youth hostel in Buenos Aires.
BackgroundValencia is originally from Colombia, where she won the prestigious Reinado Internacional del Café (International Queen of Coffee) beauty pageant in 2000 but was dethroned two days later when it was found she was married.
SyndicateValencia's operation is believed to be a "rival empire" to that of her former boyfriend, a Mexican drug baron known as "The Monster". She formed her own cartel after splitting with him. She is alleged to have recruited other models, whom she is quoted referring to as her "unsuspicious, beautiful angels" as drug traffickers, paying them up to around $5,000 per trip to transport cocaine from Argentina to England by way of Cancún.
Valencia's alleged syndicate was believed to have been exposed on December 13, 2009, when a 21-year-old woman, "Ariel L", was arrested with a suitcase containing 55 kg (121 pounds) of cocaine at Ezeiza International Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina. "L" made no attempt to hide the drugs inside her bags, leading authorities to suspect the ring had help from employees.
She is reported to have been told that no one at the airport would try to stop her, and an investigation was launched to find employees of the airport with possible links to the syndicate. After questioning "L", three additional arrests were made and a warrant was issued for Valencia's arrest.
Authorities believed she was still in Argentina after she fled a hotel where she had been staying with her pomeranian. Investigators attempted to trace her location through the address under which the animal was registered, but it only led them to an abandoned warehouse. In March 2010 Interpol issued an international warrant for her arrest.
Valencia was arrested in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 26, 2010, while staying in a local hostel. Police reported that she had registered under a false name and had tried to alter her appearance by dyeing her hair blonde.