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
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 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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Wanted Brazilian national deported from U.S.

March 28, 2012

The Bridgeport News on March 27, 2012 released the following:

“A Brazilian national living in Bridgeport, who was wanted in his home country for his involvement in a double homicide, was turned over to Brazilian law enforcement authorities in Rio De Janeiro on March 22.

He was removed from the United States by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). This individual was originally identified after ERO obtained a law enforcement tip from the Bridgeport Police Department.

Isaias Goncalves Dos Santos, 31, was arrested by ERO officers in Bridgeport Jan. 31. He remained in ERO custody until his removal last Thursday.

The Bridgeport Police Department had notified ERO that they suspected Dos Santos, who had an Interpol Red Notice out for his arrest, was living in Bridgeport.

According to the Interpol Red Notice, Dos Santos allegedly devised a plan that executed the mayor of São Sebastião do Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Mayor Gomes Gildeci Sampaio and his friend were both killed in the kitchen of the mayor’s home on Oct. 13, 2009. Interpol and HSI’s assistant attaché in Brasilia, Brazil, confirmed the biographical details and photographic facial identifiers with Brazilian authorities, which confirmed that Dos Santos was indeed wanted by their government.

An Interpol Red Notice is used to alert law enforcement agencies in member countries that arrest warrants have been issued and extradition will be sought for the fugitives. Being the subject of this type of notice is not a presumption of guilt. Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization with 190 member countries. It serves as a facilitator of international police cooperation.

“Thanks to our excellent partnership with the Bridgeport Police Department, we have ensured that this individual will be prosecuted for his alleged crimes in Brazil,” said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, field office director for ERO Boston who oversees ERO throughout New England. “His arrest and removal should serve as a reminder to foreign fugitives who mistakenly believe they can elude justice by fleeing to this country. ICE will continue to work closely with its foreign law enforcement counterparts not only to ensure that criminals are held accountable for their actions, but to safeguard the rights of law-abiding citizens here and overseas.””

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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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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.


Richard O’Dwyer case: Lawyers lodge extradition appeal

March 22, 2012

BBC on March 22, 2012 released the following:

“The family of a Sheffield student who faces extradition to the United States has confirmed an appeal has been lodged by lawyers.

On 13 March, Home Secretary Theresa May approved the extradition of 23-year-old Richard O’Dwyer, who is accused of copyright infringement.

The US authorities say Mr O’Dwyer’s TVShack website hosted links to pirated films and television programmes.

A spokesman said Mrs May had “carefully considered all relevant matters”.

Mr O’Dwyer had until Monday to appeal against the home secretary’s decision.

Student ‘surprised’
His mother Julia, from Chesterfield, confirmed that lawyers had lodged papers appealing against the extradition.

She has previously said her son had been “sold down the river” by the government.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled in January that Mr O’Dwyer could be extradited.

The Sheffield Hallam University student said he was “surprised” when police officers from the UK and US seized equipment at his home in South Yorkshire in November 2010.

The case was brought by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which claims that the TVShack.net website earned more than $230,000 (£147,000) in advertising revenue before US authorities obtained a warrant and seized the domain name in June 2010.”

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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 (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) 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.


Man charged in fatal ICE ambush

December 22, 2011

El Paso Times on December 22, 2011 released the following:

“By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times

A man accused of taking part in the Feb. 11 slaying of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent that also left a second ICE agent wounded was charged on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., after Mexico extradited him to the United States.

Julian “Piolin” Zapata Espinoza faces charges for his alleged role in the murder of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata of Brownsville, and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila of El Paso.

“The extradition and charges filed against Zapata Espinoza is an important step in bringing Jaime and Victor’s alleged shooters to justice,” ICE Director John Morton said. “All of us at ICE are encouraged by today’s action and appreciate the unwavering work and support of all our law enforcement partners in this case.”

“The indictment unsealed today and the successful extradition of ‘Piolin’ to the United States reflect the Justice Department’s vigorous and determined efforts to seek justice for Agents Zapata and Avila,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to hold violent criminals accountable.”

On April 19, a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a four-count indictment against Zapata Espinoza, charging him with one count of murder of an officer or employee of the United States, for the murder of Jaime Zapata; one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States; and one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person, both for the attempted murder of Avila; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.

Zapata Espinoza, who is being held without bond, appeared in U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s court and pleaded not guilty. His next appearance in court is scheduled for Jan. 25.

In a statement, the Mexican National Defense Secretariat said Mexican soldiers captured Zapata Espinoza on Feb. 23, along with other alleged members of the Zetas drug cartel.

Military officials said Zapata Espinoza “stated he was in charge of the group of gunmen that shot the U.S. agent, (and that) he said that this event was a mistake because they thought that the people in the (U.S. agents’) vehicle were members of an antagonistic (rival) group.”

U.S. officials said the two U.S. agents were traveling from a meeting in San Luis Potosi to Mexico City the day they were ambushed by a group of armed men.

Zapata, who began his law enforcement career with the Border Patrol, was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.

Avila, the ICE agent who was shot twice in the leg, recovered from his wounds.

One of the charges is that Zapata Espinoza participated in the attempted murder of an “internationally protected person,” according to the indictment against him.

“He was apparently a U.S. federal agent that pursuant to international law had special protection,” said Douglas C. McNabb, a lawyer and senior principal with McNabb Associates PC, a global criminal defense firm with a website at www.mcnabbassociates.com.

Sheldon Snook, a deputy court clerk in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., said the U.S. Attorneys Manual defines “internationally protected persons” based on U.S. legislation and United Nations conventions, including the Vienna Convention.

Such persons can include heads of state, diplomats and others that in this case the U.S. State Department has determined holds the status.”

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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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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.


Defendant Charged with Alleged Participation in the Murder of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the Attempted Murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila is Extradited from Mexico to the United States

December 21, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on December 21, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Julian Zapata Espinoza, also known as “Piolin,” has been extradited from Mexico to the United States to face charges for his alleged participation in the murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila on Feb. 15, 2011, in Mexico.

The charges and extradition were announced today by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. for the District of Columbia; Kevin Perkins, Assistant Director for the FBI Criminal Investigative Division; and ICE Director John Morton.

On April 19, 2011, a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a four-count indictment against Zapata Espinoza, charging him with one count of murder of an officer or employee of the United States, for the murder of ICE Special Agent Zapata; one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States and one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person, both for the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Avila; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.

“Julian Zapata Espinoza (“Piolin”) allegedly participated in the murder of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The indictment unsealed today, and the successful extradition of Piolin to the United States, reflect the Justice Department’s vigorous and determined efforts to seek justice for Agents Zapata and Avila. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to hold violent criminals accountable.”

“This prosecution exemplifies our unwavering effort to prosecute those who committed this heinous offense against U.S. law enforcement agents,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We will not rest until those responsible for the murder of Agent Zapata and the wounding of Agent Avila are brought to justice.”

“The extradition of Julian Zapata Espinoza to face charges in the U.S. is a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the murder of Special Agent Jaime Zapata and attack on Special Agent Victor Avila,” said Kevin Perkins, Assistant Director for the FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “This extradition would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of all involved in this case. The FBI, DHS and the Department of Justice will continue its pursuit of justice for the Zapata family.”

“The extradition and charges filed against Zapata Espinoza is an important step in bringing Jaime and Victor’s alleged shooters to justice,” said ICE Director Morton. “All of us at ICE are encouraged by today’s action and appreciate the unwavering work and support of all our law enforcement partners in this case. Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to Jaime’s family and his close colleagues within the ICE community. ICE will continue to see that Jaime and Victor’s work is done by continuing our efforts with all involved in working on this case.”

The indictment was unsealed today, when Zapata Espinoza made his initial appearance before U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the District of Columbia. Zapata Espinoza was ordered detained without bail. His next appearance in court is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2012.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, with substantial assistance from ICE, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Diplomatic Security Service and the U.S. Marshals Service. The investigation was also coordinated with the assistance of the Government of Mexico.

The case is being prosecuted by the Organized Crime and Gang Section and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division provided substantial assistance.

An indictment is a formal charging document and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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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 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 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.


Suspected killer of U.S. Border agent extradited from Mexico

October 17, 2011

Examiner on October 17, 2011 released the following:

“Jim Kouri, Law Enforcement Examiner

Marcos Rodríguez-Perez, one of five individuals charged with being involved in the 2009 murder of Border Patrol Agent Robert W. Rosas, Jr., was arraigned Friday in federal court in San Diego, California.

Rodríguez-Perez was arrested by Mexican authorities on April 11, 2011, in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico and was extradited from Mexico on October 13, 2011, escorted by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The extradition of Rodríguez-Perez leaves only one suspect involved in the murder of Agent Rosas at large.
According to court documents, Agent Rosas was shot and killed on July 23, 2009, while he was on a routine patrol near Campo, California. José Juan Chacón-Morales, José Luis Ramirez-Dorantes, Marcos Rodríguez-Perez, Emilio Samyn Gonzales-Arenazas, and Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez are accused in separate charging documents with traveling in Mexico to the United States-Mexico international border near Campo, California on July 23, 2009.

The indictments charge that Rodríguez-Perez, Gonzales-Arenazas, and Castro-Alvarez illegally entered the United States with firearms for the purpose of robbing a Border Patrol agent of government property. Chacón-Morales and Ramirez-Dorantes remained in Mexico to act as armed lookouts.

While Agent Rosas was engaged in the performance of his duties, Rodríguez-Perez, Gonzales- Arenazas, and Castro-Alvarez lured Agent Rosas out of his vehicle for the purpose of robbing him. It is alleged that during the course of the robbery, Agent Rosas was shot multiple times by Rodríguez-Perez, Gonzales-Arenazas, and Castro-Alvarez before they fled to Mexico with his gear bag, handcuffs, firearm, and night vision goggles.

On November 20, 2009, Castro-Alvarez waived indictment and entered a guilty plea, pursuant to a plea agreement, to murder of a federal officer committed in perpetration of a robbery. On April 29, 2010, Castro-Alvarez was sentenced to serve 40 years in federal prison.

Subsequently, Chacón-Morales, Ramirez-Dorantes, Rodríguez-Perez, and Gonzales-Arenazas each were indicted for conspiracy (robbery of personal property of U.S. and unlawful confinement of a federal officer), robbery of personal property of the United States, unlawful confinement of a federal officer resulting in death, murder of a federal officer committed in perpetration of a robbery and unlawful confinement, use and carrying of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

On June 11, 2010, Ramirez-Dorantes was arrested by Mexican authorities pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant submitted to Mexico by the United States. He was subsequently extradited to the United States on December 9, 2010. A trial date of December 6, 2011 is set for Ramirez-Dorantes.

Gonzales-Arenazas was arrested by Mexican authorities pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant on October 8, 2010. He was subsequently extradited to the United States on March 16, 2011. On July 25, 2011, he pled guilty to the murder of Agent Rosas, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 19, 2012 before United States District Court Judge M. James Lorenz.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“ICE-HSI”) are jointly investigating Agent Rosas’ murder.

José Juan Chacón-Morales remains at large, and FBI and ICE-HSI are requesting assistance from the public in finding his whereabouts.”

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.


John Boulachanis Captured by the U.S. Marshals in Florida as One of Quebec’s Most Wanted Fugitives

June 20, 2011

U.S. Marshals Service on June 18, 2011 released the following press release:

“Washington – An intense manhunt has ended with the capture of John Boulachanis, a fugitive wanted on an international level. Boulachanis was apprehended in Miami Thursday.

Boulachanis is the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice issued at the request of Canadian authorities for his role in a brutal slaying that occurred in Quebec, Canada, in 1997.

Boulachanis was also being sought by Canadian law enforcement for criminal charges of fraud, arson, narcotics trafficking, conspiracy and weapons offenses. Franklin County, Va. holds an outstanding felony fugitive warrant for Boulachanis as well, issued for three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.

In April 2011, INTERPOL Ottawa requested the assistance of INTERPOL Washington in locating Boulachanis. According to the Surete’ du Quebec Homicide Squad, Boulachanis had been previously located in New Jersey in 2009, but fled before investigators could make an appropriate identification and arrest.

The case was referred to the INTERPOL Washington Fugitive Division after having been made a priority by the USMS and INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon, France, in response to an earlier international fugitive initiative entitled “INFRA-RED.” Agents assigned to the INTERPOL Washington Fugitive Division from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

“The arrest of Boulachanis shows that, no matter how far this fugitive ran, he couldn’t escape the coordinated, international effort to apprehend him,” said Geoff Shank, Assistant Director of the Investigative Operations Division of the U.S. Marshals Service. “I thank our law enforcement partners both here and in Canada for their assistance in bringing this dangerous criminal to justice.”

In May 2011, investigators were able to ascertain Boulachanis and an accomplice had assumed multiple identities supported by fraudulent documents. He has evaded capture by assembling a complex labyrinth of intentional disinformation, telephone numbers, addresses, financial accounts and postal boxes in Canada and the United States.

On Thursday, at the request of INTERPOL Washington and the U.S. Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division, members of the U.S. Marshals Service Southern Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force in Miami captured Boulachanis as he landed a small aircraft at an airfield in Miami. He was in possession of a fraudulent diplomatic passport, a fraudulent pilot’s license and an unlicensed semi-automatic weapon. The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement took his accomplice into custody.

Boulachanis is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting extradition to Canada where he faces life in prison.

The arrest of Boulachanis was the result of the combined efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division, Southern Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, Western District of Virginia, Jacksonville Fugitive Task Force, and the New York and New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force; the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office; the Surete’ du Quebec Homicide Squad; the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs; the Franklin County (Virginia) Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney’s Offices; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia; the Michigan State Police; the Nebraska State Police; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Coast Guard; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; INTERPOL Ottawa; and INTERPOL Washington.”

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

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Predrag Stojanovic Arrested by ICE as One of Sweden’s Most Wanted Fugitives

June 20, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on June 17, 2011 released the following press release:

“PHOENIX – A Serbian citizen wanted in Sweden for drug-related crimes was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service Thursday for extradition following his arrest June 10 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Phoenix.

Predrag Stojanovic, 44, is one of Sweden’s most wanted fugitives, according to INTERPOL and the Swedish National Bureau of Investigations. In 2002, the Stockholm District Court in Sweden issued a warrant for Stojanovic’s arrest for aggravated narcotics smuggling involving 184 pounds of amphetamine.

“We will not allow criminal fugitives to seek safe haven in the United States,” said Albert Carter, acting field office director of ICE ERO in Phoenix. “Our ERO officers and agents work closely with their law enforcement partners to identify fugitive aliens and ensure they are held accountable for their crimes.”

ERO agents were working with the Phoenix FBI Fugitive Task Force June 10 when they encountered Stojanovic. Stojanovic told agents he illegally entered the United States through Mexico in April 2010.

The agents who made the arrest are assigned to ERO’s Joint Criminal Alien Removal Task Force (JCART) in Phoenix, which is dedicated to identifying and arresting foreign-born criminals who are at-large in Arizona communities. Since Oct. 1, 2010, JCART agents have arrested nearly 150 foreign-born criminals in Arizona.”

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

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Haitian Legal Advisor Extradited to U.S.; Faces Alleged Alien-Smuggling Charges

September 14, 2010

A man who provided legal advice to 10 U.S. Baptists accused of kidnapping 33 Haitian children after January’s earthquake has been extradited from the Dominican Republic to the United States on alien-smuggling charges, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Jorge Torres-Puello, also known as Jorge Torres Orellana, was arrested March 18 in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean nation recently ordered his extradition, and Torres-Puello was escorted Monday to Vermont, where he faces charges.

After Haitian authorities detained 10 U.S. missionaries this year on kidnapping and abduction charges, Torres-Puello contacted their church in Idaho, saying he was a legal authority on Haitian and Dominican law, the Marshals Service said.

Torres-Puello, also known as Orellana, and is apparently also wanted by El Salvadoran authorities for human trafficking charges. Torres-Puello has admitted that his is in fact Orellana, but denies the charges against him.

Torres-Puello is a Dominican who was born in New York, the Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Agency said at the time of his arrest.

Torres-Puello faces charges in the United States of conspiracy to take foreigners into the country illegally.

In El Salvador, he and his wife, Ana Josefa Ramirez Orellana, face charges of presumed sexual exploitation of minors and women, the agency said. The drug agency claims Torres-Puello forced Nicaraguan and Dominican children to work as prostitutes in El Salvador.

Torres-Puello has denied those allegations.

In addition to Vermont, Torres-Puello is wanted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for probation violations for fraud, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said. He also is wanted in Canada.

The 10 U.S. Baptist missionaries were arrested January 29 as they attempted to cross the Haitian border with the Dominican Republic with 33 Haitian children. Haiti said the missionaries did not have legal paperwork for the youngsters and held them on child-trafficking charges.

The missionaries, known as the New Life Children’s Refuge, denied any wrong-doing, saying they had received permission to take the children to a Dominican orphanage.

Nine of the 10 missionaries were released later, but group leader Laura Silsby was detained until a trial in May. She was found guilty and sentenced to time served. She and the others have returned to the United States, most of them to Idaho.

The 7.0-magnitude January 12 earthquake in Haiti killed 230,000 people, injured about 300,000 and left 1 million people homeless, the Haitian government said.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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.

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Alleged Leader of ID Fraud Extradited from Mexico; Faces Charges in Chicago

July 15, 2010

An alleged leader of a counterfeit identification document business that operated in Chicago’s Little Village Community has been extradited from Mexico to face federal charges here, including racketeering conspiracy and murder-related offenses, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced today.

The defendant, Manuel Leija-Sanchez, 43, was arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court on eight counts, including racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to commit murder outside the United States, money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, and alien smuggling. He pleaded not guilty and remains in federal custody without bond. A status hearing was scheduled for Aug. 26 before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer. Leija-Sanchez was arrested in Mexico in October 2007 and remained in custody in Mexico until Mexican authorities surrendered him to U.S. law enforcement agents last Friday.

The charges are part of Operation Paper Tiger, an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that, in April 2007, resulted in charges against 24 defendants and dismantled an alleged fraudulent document ring that operated in and around the Little Village Discount Mall and generated nearly $3 million in annual profits.

Manuel Leija-Sanchez allegedly operated the fraudulent document business since 1993 with his brothers, Julio Leija-Sanchez and Pedro Leija-Sanchez. Supposedly, the Mexico-based Leija-Sanchez organization was supervised by an overall leader living in Chicago, and the leadership position rotated among the three Leija-Sanchez brothers, according to an October 2007 indictment. The leader in Chicago and others allegedly ordered violent acts against competitors, rivals and others.

The indictment alleged that the organization sold as many as 50 to 100 sets of fraudulent identification documents each day, charging customers approximately $200 to $300 cash per “set,” consisting of a Social Security card and either an Immigration “green card” or a state driver’s license.

Manuel Leija-Sanchez and his brothers allegedly conspired to murder Guillermo Jimenez-Flores, a former member of their organization who became a fledgling rival and was allegedly shot to death in Mexico in April 2007 by co-defendant Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez, who was paid by and conspired with the three Leija-Sanchez brothers. The same four defendants also allegedly conspired about the same time to kill a second victim in Mexico.

Pedro Leija-Sanchez and Salazar-Rodriguez are both in custody in Mexico, while Julio Leija-Sanchez was arrested in Chicago and remains in custody while awaiting trial.

If convicted of the most serious charges against him, Manuel Leija-Sanchez faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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.

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