New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and other officials announced Friday that accused ringleader Sergio Zuilanny Gordillo Joya has been extradited to New York from Buenos Aires.
Brennan says Joya was living there as a fugitive from Colombian authorities.
He was awaiting arraignment Friday and didn't yet have a lawyer.
Authorities say Joya and a collaborator orchestrated a January 2012 shipment of 16 kilos of heroin on a Colombia-to-Miami-bound freighter, with plans to take it to New York to sell.
Authorities say they stopped the freighter in Miami and found 34 packages of heroin, concealed in four couches.