Alleged Founding Zetas Drug Cartel Member Extradited to the US

September 12, 2012

Fox News Latino on September 12, 2012 released the following:

“MEXICO CITY – Mexico extradited one of the founding members of the ultra violent Zetas drug cartel to the U.S. on Tuesday where he is wanted for the alleged involvement in the killing of a U.S. customs agent, authorities said.

Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar was turned over to U.S. authorities to face drug-trafficking charges in Washington, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

Rejón is identified as third in command of the Zetas, which over a decade went from being the military arm of the Gulf Cartel to having its own drug-trafficking organization. He was one of Mexico’s most-wanted men and the U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Mexican authorities say Rejón was the leader of a Zetas cell accused of fatally shooting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata and wounding fellow agent Victor Avila in February 2011 while they drove on a highway in San Luis Potosi state.

Mexican federal police captured him the following July outside Mexico City in the town of Atizapan.

Rejón entered the Mexican army in 1993 and three years later joined an elite unit. In 1997, he was assigned as an agent of the Attorney General’s Office in northern Mexico. Two years later, he deserted and is alleged to have then helped found the Zetas, at first working as security for the head of the Gulf Cartel.

The Zetas are blamed for much of the violence that has resulted in more than 47,000 people being killed in Mexican drug violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón launched a military offensive against the cartels.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, soldiers clashed with gunmen in the northern state of Tamaulipas, across the border from Texas, killing four, state prosecutors said in a statement.

Soldiers first clashed with armed men in a residential area of Reynosa, a city across from McAllen, Texas, killing one man. A second shootout at an empty lot killed three more gunmen, prosecutors said.

“Because of this, criminal groups blocked several city streets with trailer trucks and public buses to obstruct the arrival of the military and police forces,” the prosecutors’ statement said.

The industrial city of Reynosa is believed to be a stronghold of the Gulf Cartel.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Alleged senior member of Tijuana drug cartel extradited to U.S.

September 1, 2012

CNN on August 31, 2012 released the following:

“By Carol Cratty, CNN

(CNN) — A man alleged to be a senior member of a Tijuana-based drug cartel was extradited from Mexico to the United States on Friday to stand trial.

Eduardo Arellano-Felix, 55, faces charges of narcotics trafficking, racketeering and money laundering.

He was arrested on October 25, 2008, after a gunbattle with Mexican forces, the Justice Department said. Arellano-Felix was ordered extradited to the United States in 2010 but spent nearly two years on unsuccessful appeals of his case.

“The extradition of Eduardo Arellano-Felix today marks the end of a 20-year DEA investigation into this vicious drug cartel,” said William Sherman, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s acting special agent in charge in San Diego.

According to a Justice Department news release, his cartel, the Arellano-Felix Organization, “controlled the flow of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs through the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali into the United States.” Prosecutors said the group brought Colombian cocaine into Mexico by sea and air, then smuggled it into the United States for sale.

The Justice Department estimates the cartel made hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.

“The FBI is pleased with Mexico’s efforts to bring to justice a leader from one of the most violent criminal enterprises in our history,” said San Diego FBI Special Agent in Charge Daphne Hearn. “The spirit of cooperation between our two countries is a powerful force in disrupting the criminal activities of these groups that instill fear and threaten the safety of our citizens in the border regions of the United States.”

Arellano-Felix is scheduled to make his first court appearance in San Diego on September 4.

The Justice Department noted two brothers of the accused already are serving time in the United States. Benjamin Arellano-Felix and Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix were convicted on drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering charges.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

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————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Guatemala court OKs extradition of suspected drug boss to U.S.

June 14, 2012

Reuters on June 13, 2012 released the following:

“(Reuters) – A Guatemalan court authorized on Wednesday the extradition to the United States of Horst Overdick, who is accused of being one of Central America’s top drug traffickers with close ties to Mexico’s brutal Zetas gang.

Overdick, 44, nicknamed “the Tiger,” was arrested in April and judges ruled he was responsible for overseeing large shipments of cocaine from South America to the United States.

The court also said that Overdick helped build clandestine runways to land cocaine shipments in Guatemala and stored the drugs in warehouses.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez must ratify the extradition.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez has said Overdick was the most important link in Guatemala for the Zetas, the drug cartel founded by deserters from the Mexican army that has expanded into Central America.

In May 2011, the Zetas beheaded 27 farm workers in northern Guatemala in a dispute with the farm’s owner over cocaine shipments to the United States.

A New York district court has requested Overdick’s extradition on charges that he helped ship 1,200 kg (2,650 pounds) of cocaine to the United States in 2002.

(Reporting by Mike McDonald; Editing by Peter Cooney)”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

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————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Guatemala here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Ex-Colombian president’s family face US extradition over drugs charges

June 11, 2012

The Guardian on June 11, 2012 released the following:

“Álvaro Uribe’s niece and her mother to stand trial over alleged ties to Sinaloa cartel drug lord, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán

Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogotá

A niece of former the Colombian president Álvaro Uribe and her mother are awaiting extradition to the US over claims they had ties to the world’s most wanted drug lord.

Ana Maria Uribe Cifuentes and her mother, Dolly Cifuentes Villa, were arrested last year after a request from a US federal court for alleged ties to the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

According to an investigation published by the Nuevo Arco Iris political research centre in Bogotá, Uribe Cifuentes is the daughter of former president Álvaro Uribe’s brother Jaime, who died of throat cancer in 2001.

Both women are alleged to belong to the Cifuentes Villa clan which, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, trafficked at least 30 tonnes of cocaine to the US between 2009 and 2011, and laundered the proceeds in several Latin American countries including Colombia.

On Friday, Colombian police announced they had seized US$15m (£10m) in assets from the Sinaloa cartel, owned by Cifuentes Villa and two of her brothers on behalf of El Chapo.

On Sunday, Álvaro Uribe denied any knowledge of Jaime’s relationship with Cifuentes Villa, or the existence of his niece, despite the fact the investigation has a fax of a birth certificate declaring Jaime Uribe as her father.

“My brother Jaime died in 2001, married to Astrid Velez, they had two children … Any other romantic relationship that my brother may have had was part of his personal life and is unknown to me,” Álvaro Uribe tweeted on Sunday. He denied Jaime was ever linked to the drug lord Pablo Escobar.

According to the Nuevo Arco Iris investigation, Jaime Uribe was arrested and interrogated by the army in 1986 after detectives discovered calls had been made from his carphone to Escobar, leader of the Medellín cartel.

Álvaro Uribe acknowledged that his brother had been arrested but said he had been released and charges were dropped, claiming Jaime was recovering from throat surgery in a local hospital at the time the calls were made. “His car phone was cloned by criminals,” Alvaro Uribe tweeted.

The Uribe family has long faced accusations of ties to drug trafficking. A US intelligence report from 1991, declassified in 2004, identified Álvaro Uribe as a “close friend” of Escobar, who was “dedicated to collaboration with the Medellín cartel”. It also says Uribe’s father was murdered “for his connection with the narcotic (sic) traffickers”. Officially Uribe’s father died while trying to resist being kidnapped by leftist guerrillas in 1983.

The US state department disavowed the intelligence report when it was published, during Uribe’s second year in office, saying it had “no credible information” to substantiate the information.

Another Uribe brother, Santiago, isbeing investigated over the alleged founding and leadership of a rightwing paramilitary group, while Uribe’s cousin Mario lost his seat in the senate and was jailed for seven and a half years over ties to paramilitaries, main players in Colombia’s drug trade.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Colombia here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Mexican judges back extradition suspected drug queen to the US after previous attempts failed

June 8, 2012

The Washington Post on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A panel of Mexican judges on Thursday agreed to the extradition of a suspected drug trafficker known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” who is wanted in the United States on cocaine-related charges.

The three federal appellate judges said Sandra Avila Beltran could be tried outside of Mexico, but only on one of the two charges prosecutors sought.

Avila cannot be tried for the seizure of more than nine tons of U.S.-bound cocaine off a vessel in Mexico’s western port of Manzanillo because a Mexican judge acquitted her in that case in December 2010. An appeals court upheld the verdict last August.

Previous requests to extradite the high-profile suspect have been denied twice by a panel and then by a judge, who argued that the confiscation of the nine tons of cocaine would inevitably be part of the foreign trial.

But the judges on Thursday ruled that Beltran has to answer to a charge stemming from several seizures in Chicago in 2001 that amounted to 100 kilograms of cocaine. The 2004 indictment in the Southern District of Florida does not specify Beltran’s role in the drug-dealing case.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department must re-file the extradition request to leave out the charge related to the Manzanillo seizure. The department did not respond on Thursday to a request by The Associated Press for comment.

Avila remains in a prison in the Mexican state of Nayarit, pending trial for a separate money-laundering charge. It was not immediately clear how Mexican prosecutors would proceed with that charge.

Avila, who was arrested in 2007 sipping coffee in a Mexico City diner, has said she is innocent. Her attorney could not be immediately reached for fresh comment.

Her case is widely known in Mexico because Avila is the niece of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, “the godfather” of Mexican drug smuggling who is serving a 40-year sentence for trafficking and the murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena in 1985.

Prosecutors have alleged that Avila spent more than a decade working her way to the top of Mexico’s drug trade. They say her romance with Colombian Juan Diego Espinoza brought together Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel with Colombia’s Norte del Valle.

The Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been locked in a vicious fight with violent Los Zetas gang in several regions of the country.

In the northern state of Tamaulipas, 14 bodies were abandoned Thursday inside a bus near the city hall building of Ciudad Mante. Soldiers deployed in the area found a message in which a gang took responsibility for the killings, according to a Tamaulipas statement. It did not say which gang or give more details.

Drug cartels often leave messages in crime scenes as a threat to enemies.

The bodies of the three women and 11 men have not been identified.

Also Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it is placing financial sanctions on a wife and son of Guzman, who is Mexico’s most-wanted man.

The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said that it had designated Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, 26, under the U.S. Kingpin Act. That bars American citizens from making business transactions with them and allows authorities to freeze their assets in the U.S.

Guzman escaped prison in 2001 and has evaded authorities ever since, moving from hideout to hideout as he directs the operations of his powerful cartel. The U.S. and Mexican government have been intensifying their actions against Guzman’s family in recent months.

Authorities in the U.S. and Mexico have said they believe Guzman has children with several partners, including an 18-year-old woman whom he married in an elaborate public ceremony in 2007. The Treasury Department described Salazar Hernandez, 53, as a wife of Guzman, without providing details.

The department last month announced sanctions against Guzman’s sons Ivan Archivaldo “El Chapito” Guzman Salazar, 31, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 22.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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Has Colombia’s Biggest Mafia Boss Surrendered?

April 19, 2012

In Sight on April 18, 2012 released the following:

“Written by Jeremy McDermott

Reports that the head of Colombia’s most powerful drug cartel, the Rastrojos, has surrendered to US authorities are false, according to sources contacted by InSight Crime, and may be aimed at sowing chaos within the organization and Colombia’s underworld.

Spain’s El Mundo reported that Javier Calle Serna [], alias “Comba,” had turned himself into the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and that his brother Luis Enrique [] would soon do the same. The newspaper said it had confirmed the story with both DEA and Colombian intelligence services, and the news was reported on the front page of every major news organization in Colombia.

However, two high-level law enforcement sources, as well as a third source very close to the case, told InSight Crime that Calle Serna was not in US custody. And although there appear to be negotiations between the Calle Serna brothers and US authorities, there is no confirmation of any surrenders.

Whatever the truth, the news is sure to throw the Colombian underworld into a state of panic. The Comba brothers have a criminal career going back two decades and have had contact with many of the biggest players in the cocaine business, both Colombian and Mexican. The Rastrojos are believed to be the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias “El Chapo,” one of the world’s most wanted men.

The Rastrojos are also known to have networks in Ecuador, Venezuela and Spain, as well as a fleet of drug submarines to move product, with air and land routes that shuttle shipments through Central America. Another of the Calle Serna brothers was arrested in Ecuador in March, an added factor that could be feeding the rumors of surrender. If Javier Calle Serna were to deliver information to US authorities, it could have huge implications for the cocaine business throughout Latin America.

The surrender of Calle Serna brothers would not mean the end of the Rastrojos. It has always had two wings: the Combas, run by the Calle Serna brothers, and the military wing led by Diego Perez Henao, alias “Diego Rastrojo,” after whom the group is named. The latter is the most important in terms of cocaine production. It dominates certain parts of Colombia (see map), collects coca base to process into cocaine and controls internal smuggling routes and departure points. This part of the Rastrojos is also believed to have an agreement with the rebels of the National Liberation Army (ELN), which protects drug crops, laboratories and escorts shipments within Colombia.

The Combas have concentrated more on handling international smuggling routes, laundering money and running a network of assassins. Indeed, it is believed that Javier Calle Serna started out in the drug business by providing an efficient assassination and enforcement service in Cali, attracting the attention of members of the Norte del Valle Cartel, before taking over much of the organization after killing his boss, Wilber Varela, in Venezuela in January 2008.

However, Calle Serna could certainly deliver vast amounts of intelligence on the workings of the Rastrojos and help the DEA prepare a new raft of extradition orders for key members of the group, further weakening an organization that has seen a series of arrests of key members over the last 18 months.

The Rastrojos is not a vertically integrated and hierarchical organization. It is an association of drug traffickers, most with roots in the now defunct Norte del Valle Cartel (and its predecessor the Cali Cartel). Due to the group’s expansion since 2008, it also includes former members of the demobilized United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). There will no doubt be a panic in the ranks of Rastrojos associates and moves to change habits and residence just in case the rumors are true of a surrender of the top leadership.

There are other players who could take advantage of chaos in the Rastrojos’ ranks. First and foremost are Victor Patiño-Fomeque and Martin Fernando Varon, alias “Martin Bala.” These men have been fighting the Comba brothers on their home turf along the Pacific coast, based out of Cali and the province of Valle del Cauca.

Patiño-Fomeque was a member of the Cali Cartel who surrendered in 1995 after the heads of that organization, Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, were captured. He was later released, then recaptured and extradited in 2002. He is believed to have cooperated with US authorities, and members of the Cali mafia tried to silence him by killing of many of his relatives. He was released from prison in the US in 2010 and returned to Colombia, where he is believed to have sought revenge on the Rastrojos for the killing of his family, and to have restarted his cocaine smuggling business. He is also alleged to be working with Martin Fernando Varon, another former member of the Cali Cartel.

The Rastrojos’ principal rivals for national domination are the Urabeños. A truce was apparently negotiated between the Rastrojos and Urabeños at the end of 2011, whereby the Rastrojos promised to withdraw from the region of Bajo Cauca (in the provinces of Cordoba and Antioquia), while the Urabeños pledged to pull support from Patiño-Fomeque and Varon. This arrangement would be unlikely to survive if the head of the Rastrojos surrendered to the US.

Rumors of Calle Serna’s imminent surrender have been circulating for months. In February, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stated that both Javier and Luis Enrique Calle Serna were finalizing their surrender to US authorities. The prospect of Calle Serna’s surrender means there is likely to be another round of bloodshed in the Colombian underworld, particularly in the Rastrojos’ strongholds of Cali and the Valle del Cauca department, as well as along several key drug trafficking routes, particularly on the Pacific coast and the Eastern Plains that lead into Venezuela.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Police arrest alleged prominent narco in central Colombia

March 5, 2012

Colombia Reports on March 5, 2012 released the following:

“Colombian police said Monday they have arrested one of the sub-commanders of the country’s largest neo-paramilitary organization the “Urabeños.”

Andres Arroyabe Ramirez, alias “Maquina,” was captured in the central Cundinamarca department.

Maquina, described by police as one of the most feared criminals in the Colombia, has been linked to the “Norte del Valle” drug cartel, its descendant the “Rastrojos,” the Urabeños and the “Oficina de Envigado.”

According to earlier reports, Maquina was the Urabeños’ main capo in the coffee region and the Valle del Cauca department.

Arroyabe Ramirez is requested for extradition by U.S. authorities for drug trafficking and the murder of an American government witness.

The investigation took four months which began after the murder in Bogota of alias “El Gordo,” a source deployed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Bogota.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Colombia here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.