BOGOTA - A Colombian suspected of running a violent cocaine cartel, one of the country's most-wanted men, has surrendered to US drug officials and could get a lighter sentence if he helps authorities fight drug trafficking, Colombian police said on Monday.

Javier Antonio Calle, for whom the US government was offering a $5-million reward, turned himself in to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on the Caribbean island of Aruba and was flown to New York on Friday, authorities said.

"As a result of ... the National Government's efforts to track down all drug traffickers, in the past few hours Javier Antonio Calle turned himself in," said Jose Roberto Leon, deputy director of Colombia's police force.

Calle, 43, is considered the kingpin of "Los Rastrojos" (The Stubbles), a violent criminal network that controls some key smuggling routes and is believed responsible for sending several tonnes of cocaine every year into the United States.

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