Ecuador’s ambassador calls for Bristol prosecutors to turn over evidence in Brockton slayings; warns of appeal by Luis Guaman

May 18, 2012

The Boston Globe on May 18, 2012 released the following:

“By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States this week rejected US Senator John F. Kerry’s request to extradite a man accused of a Brockton double murder, and urged Kerry to support Ecuador’s decision to prosecute him there, according to a letter released to the media today.

Ambassador Nathalie Cely said in a letter to Kerry that Ecuador had worked “tirelessly” to obtain evidence from Massachusetts prosecutors needed to keep Luis Guaman in prison in Ecuador, where the constitution bars extradition of Ecuadoran citizens.

An Ecuadoran court last month convicted the 42-year-old roofer for the February 2011 murders of a mother and son in Brockton, based largely on the evidence outlined in the US extradition request, and sentenced Guaman to 25 years in prison.

Guaman’s defense lawyer has appealed, and he has pointed out during the trial that Massachusetts prosecutors did not send any physical evidence to bolster the case.

Cely wrote Kerry that Ecuadoran prosecutors cannot violate the nation’s constitution, but in letter, which was dated Tuesday, she urged Kerry to help secure evidence that would “guard against any potential appeal.”

“While I appreciate your disappointment about the decision to not extradite Mr. Guaman, I hope that you will consider supporting my government’s effort to obtain the evidence requested from the Massachusetts judicial authorities so that we can ensure he remains incarcerated for his full sentence,” she wrote to Kerry.

Cely was responding to a May 10 request by Kerry, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, that Ecuador return Guaman to Massachusetts. Kerry, who joined Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Senator Scott Brown in calling for the extradition, had expressed concern that Guaman could be freed in as little as 10 years, though the presiding judge in Guaman’s case said they expected him to serve the vast majority of his sentence.

In the letter, Cely pointed out that Ecuador has a long record of “active and ongoing” cooperation with the United States, including combating drug trafficking, terrorism, and human smuggling. She said Ecuador helped capture six Pakistani citizens involved in human trafficking last year.

Guaman, who lived in the United States illegally for almost two decades, has been indicted in Plymouth County for the bludgeoning deaths of his housemates Maria Avelina Palaguachi, 25, and her 2-year-old son Brian. He left the United States using another man’s passport hours after their bodies were found in a trash bin behind their house.

Cruz refused multiple requests from Ecuador to send evidence to bolster their case and called the trial a “sham.” Cruz has said that Ecuador’s constitution violates its preexisting extradition treaty with the United States and called for economic sanctions against the South American nation.

Cruz has also pointed out that Guaman would face a stiffer penalty of life in prison without parole in Massachusetts, if convicted.”

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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

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Ecuador 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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Inmate at Lindsay superjail facing extradition to U.S. in human smuggling case

April 5, 2012

The Peterborough Examiner on April 5, 2012 released the following:

“By GALEN EAGLE Examiner Staff Writer

A Cornwall area man facing extradition to the United States on allegations of human smuggling is currently before the Peterborough courts awaiting a bail hearing.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada issued a warrant for the arrest of Dennis Jocko, 58, who faces multiple counts of smuggling illegal aliens into the United States and failing to appear for court. Jocko was serving a jail sentence at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay at the time of his arrest Feb. 15.

The U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Border Patrol allege Jocko was part of a scheme to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States across the St. Lawrence River via the Akwesasne Mohawk Indian Reservation.

According to an affidavit by RCMP Immigration Task Force’s Corp. Louise Savard, the U.S. accuses Jocko of accepting money from three United Kingdom residents in exchange for smuggling them south of the border.

Jocko arranged their travel across the border by smuggling them across the St. Lawrence River by boat and arranging for a car to pick them up on the U.S. side of the border, the court documents state.

Three people Jocko allegedly smuggled — U.K. nationals Michael Connors, James O’Connor and Francis McNerney — have agreed to testify against Jocko, the documents show.

Jocko was allegedly paid sums of $1,300, $2,000 and $2,500 for his three illegal trips.

U.S. Border Patrol arrested Jocko in Burlington, Vt., April 10, 2010 and he was released on a $20,000 cash bond on a promise to appear for a pretrial conference Jan. 4, 2011 in New York state.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Jocko failed to attend that court date and has been at large ever since.

The RCMP recently discovered that Jocko was back in Ontario, serving an eight-month sentence at the Lindsay jail stemming from an April 2009 arrest by Akwesasne Mohawk Police Services on impaired driving and flight from police. He was sentenced on the charges Sept. 13 and was to be released from jail Feb. 22 but was arrested on the extradition warrant a week before his release.

Jocko has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1976 that includes assaulting a police officer, drug trafficking and possession of smuggled goods, his court documents show.

A Syracuse, N.Y., court sentenced one of Jocko’s co-accused last year.

Carl Thompson, 44, of Cornwall, pleaded guilty Oct. 6, 2010, to one count of bringing illegal aliens into the United States and was sentenced Feb. 3, 2011 to three years imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

Thompson admitted to his role in smuggling an Irish man, with no permission to enter the U.S., into the country using a boat on the St. Lawrence River to cross through the international boundary between Cornwall Island to the land-locked portion of the reservation in Quebec and from there to a business location in Massena, N.Y.

Jocko briefly appeared in Peterborough’s Superior Court of Justice Monday. His case was adjourned to April 26 for a bail hearing. No date has been set for his extradition hearing.”

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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

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Canada 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 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.


Alleged Guatemala Traffickers Exploit Legal Tool to Fight Extradition

February 7, 2012

InSightCrime.org on February 7, 2012 released the following:

“Written by Steven Dudley

A legal safeguard built into Guatemala’s justice system is being used to stall the extraditions to the United States of some of the country’s most notorious suspected drug traffickers.

The writ of amparo — which is something along the lines of an injunction in the United States, or “accion tutela” in Colombia — provides widespread “relief” or “protection” for the appellate who feels that a statute, law or government action is violating his rights under the country’s constitution.

The amparo is a broad measure that can also be used to reclaim rights as well, such as the right to obtain government-generated documents (equivalent to the Freedom of Information Act in the United States). As such, it is a sacred legal tool.

However, lawyers of some of Guatemala’s most notorious suspected organized crime figures are repeatedly employing the amparo in what appears to be an effort to indefinitely delay the extradition of their clients.

There at least nine high-profile suspects awaiting extradition who have used the measure.

1. Waldemar Lorenzana, alias “The Patriarch,” the long-time head of the Lorenzana clan, a diverse and powerful trafficking group that has been accused of working with both the Sinaloa Cartel and the Zetas.

2. Elio Lorenzana (pictured above), the son of Waldemar, and a suspected trafficker in his father’s organization.

3. Juan Ortiz Lopez, alias “Chamale,” the Guatemalan contact for the Sinaloa Cartel in the San Marcos state along the Mexican border.

4. Mauro Salomon Ramirez, a top lieutenant for the Chamale organization.

5. Alma Lucrecia Hernandez, Salomon’s replacement after his arrest in 2010.

6. Edgar Leonel Estrada, arrested for importing large amounts of pseudoephedrine, the raw material for methamphetamine, for the Mexican criminal organization Familia Michoacana.

7. Victor Emilio Estrada Paredes, who worked closely with his half-brother Edgar.

8. Byron Linares, a long-time drug trafficker who was captured then released in the early 2000s, then recaptured; Linares allegedly has connections in Colombia and sells illegal drugs to the Sinaloa Cartel, among others.

9. Alfonso Portillo, Guatemala’s ex-president who is accused of embezzlement, and has been tied to a group of ex-military intelligence personnel that facilitates drug trafficking, human smuggling, illegal adoptions, and other criminal activities.

The frivolous nature of the amparos has US authorities wringing their hands. In one case, the suspect’s lawyer filed an amparo contending that the words “United States” was not specific enough language to know who the accuser was, and that it could be confused with “the United States of Mexico.”

Others have made references to conflicts of interest within the court system, as this account from elPeriodico illustrates, attempting to sideline judges they deem unfavorable.

The most common amparos challenge the constitutionality of extradition (for example, see pdf version of what Elio Lorenzana’s lawyers filed in 2011, following his capture).

Guatemala allows extradition for cases that have been resolved or in cases in which the suspect is not wanted for a crime in Guatemala. But only Portillo and Linares still faces charges in Guatemala. Once those are settled, their lawyers are likely to file more amparos.

In the case of Portillo, this may be futile. Guatemala’s former president Alvaro Colom, in one of his last big decisions as head of state, authorized the extradition of one of his longtime political rivals just months after the courts, in a shameful ruling, absolved Portillo, and two of his accomplices, of several charges.

The amparo has also been employed against other judicial bodies seeking to prosecute organized crime figures, most notably the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations-sponsored project that assists judicial and police authorities in investigating high-profile crimes.

The legal tactics go beyond amparos. On February 1, the day a court was to decide Elio Lorenzana’s fate, his lawyers resigned, leaving him without a defense and leaving the court with little choice but to suspend the hearing.

Traffickers in other countries have employed amparos as well, most notably in Mexico and Venezuela, where high-profile figures have argued extradition violates the constitution and their rights under it.

Amparos in extradition cases are not new, and US Congress has discussed their use in public hearings in the past. They have long been filed if the accused can face longer or more harsh sentences in the United States for their crimes than under their own countries’ laws.

Some of the most significant Guatemalan traffickers, such as Otto Herrera and Mario Paredes, alias “El Gordo,” were captured in other countries, making their extraditions or deportations easier. Both Herrera and Paredes were tried and sentenced in the United States.

However, the Guatemala-based cases can take months or years, and US authorities have no option but to wait.”

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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

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