The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him earlier in the week with drug trafficking, alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Carvajal, a former general and ally of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States. It was unclear when or if he would surrender, as the people said talks were ongoing.

One person familiar with the matter said U.S. authorities were in touch with Carvajal through a nongovernmental intermediary trying to convince him to turn himself in, and there was a "50/50 chance" it would succeed.