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Brazil´s War on Drugs: druglord Sandra Sapatão imprisoned in Campo Grande.

Drug kingpin Sandra Helene Ferreira Gabriel, alias Sandra Sapatao, was captured by brazilian military police.Photo credit to Valdenir Rezende 03-12-2010

One of the criminal leaders of the drug trafficking organization Comando Vermelho (Red Command) in Rio de Janeiro, the trafficker Sandra Helena Ferreira Gabriel , known also as Sandra Sapatão, was transferred yesterday to the prison Campo Grande. Landing at 12:50, at the international airport, she was taken straight to the Federal Penitentiary, where there are detainees other highly dangerous criminals, including the druglord Fernando da Costa Beira Mar , also known as Fernandinho Beira-Mar, with whom she would had connections within the gang Comando Vermelho. With this transfer, the criminal becomes the first woman to hold this VIP criminal status in the federal penitentiary in the capital.

Arrested on Sunday, during the military occupation of the favela Complejo Alemao (German Complex),  Sandra Sapatão was appointed by the Comando Vermelho as the manager of all drug trafficking in the Jacarezinho slum in northern Rio de Janeiro.

On Wednesday, in spite of the agreement to support the police´s  strategy of holding the detained criminals in isolation, the justice Court of Rio de Janeiro authorized the transfer of Sapatão, also known as Sandrão because of her physical size, to the Federal Prison of Campo Grande.

Six other prisoners involved in attacks in Rio were removed to the Federal Prison Catanduvas (PR), including Elizeu Felicio de Souza, “Zeu”, condemned for the death of journalist Tim Lopes in 2002. Another 20 drug dealers were already in Catanduvas.

Transfer of Sandra Sapatao.-

According to different sources, Sandra Ferreira Joaquim Ferreira de Souza left the prison  in Gericinó yesterday morning, and she was conducted to the Santos Dumont airport,  while escorted by five police teams of Special Operations Service of  the Department of Penitentiary Administration.

She arrived in Campo Grande, in early afternoon, using a TAM flight (brazilian airline).  Getting off the back door of the aircraft, the drug trafficker was put into a vehicle of the National Penitentiary Department (Depen), following heavily escorted to the Federal Penitentiary, along the ring road to Sidrolândia.

Also according to the information, Sandra is cited as one of the heads of  the gang comando Vermelho, formerly led by Fernandinho Beira-Mar, imprisoned since 2007 in Campo Grande.

Sandräo had under her watch the drug markets in the slums of Jacarezinho and Manguinhos. Allegedly, she is aalso responsible for the transportation of  weapons to other favelas and other crimes committed by the gang. Until her arrest last Sunday, she had at least six arrest warrants for armed robbery, association for trafficking and conspiracy.