A NOTORIOUS drug trafficker dubbed the Queen of Ronda who ran a network of mules bringing in cocaine from the Caribbean has been busted by police in Madrid.
Maria del Mar Mellado, 38, led a double life. To outsiders she appeared to be an-out-of-work beautician living a quiet life in the pretty whitewashed hilltop town of Cuevas del Becerro in the hills near Ronda.
But she was the head of a drug trafficking empire that used a network of human drug mules recruited from the ranks of the unemployed in the province to smuggle cocaine in from the Dominican Republic. The class A drug was then processed in Ronda and distributed across Andalucia.
She donated cash sums to pay for the town’s Cabalgata de Reyes, the parade of the Three Kings that takes place on the eve of Epiphany, and distributed toys to needy children across the Serrania.
Known to police and previously arrested in 2012, La Reina de Ronda was back behind bars after they tracked a woman who had acted suspiciously while on a commercial flight from Colombia.
Believing her to be carrying cocaine, police followed the woman from Madrid Adolfo Suarez airport to a contact in the city. From there she was given an address to make her delivery.
A statement released by Spain’s Policia Nacional explained that having followed the suspected drug mule to the second meeting they found ‘a woman, who was recognized by officers for being a well-known drug trafficker nicknamed the Queen of Ronda’.
Police said that in addition to the 11kilos of cocaine that had been smuggled into Spain, they found a hidden compartment in the Maria’s car containing €23,000 in cash as well as six encrypted phones.
They posted a video of the search:
Three people were arrested; the Queen of Ronda, the woman who carried the drugs in from Columbia and a man who had acted as the contact.
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