“U.S. Seeks Arrest of Mexican Kingpin Who Was Freed in American’s Murder”

August 15, 2013

The New York Times on August 14, 2013 released the following:

“By PETER BAKER and RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD

WASHINGTON — The United States has formally asked Mexico to re-arrest a drug kingpin who was released from prison in the middle of the night last week despite his conviction for masterminding the murder of an American drug agent nearly 30 years ago, officials from both governments said Wednesday.

The Justice Department sent Mexico a provisional arrest warrant for the drug lord, Rafael Caro Quintero, as a prelude to an extradition request. The officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the confidential collaboration, said Mexico’s attorney general privately encouraged the United States to send the request, a sign that the government there would act on it.

The case has stirred strong feelings among American law enforcement officials and become a fresh test of the relationship between the two neighboring countries at a time when they are trying to broaden it beyond the issues of crime, drugs and immigration. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to visit Mexico next month to talk about ways to expand economic ties, and both governments appear eager to avoid any enduring damage over the release of Mr. Caro Quintero.

Brian Fallon, a Justice Department spokesman, said that he could not comment on any arrest request but that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had personally involved himself in discussions. “The attorney general is in contact with top Mexican authorities to convey concerns about the release and figure out steps forward,” Mr. Fallon said.

The American authorities are also searching for other ways to go after Mr. Caro Quintero, who was convicted in the murder of Enrique Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent known as Kiki, who was abducted, tortured and killed in 1985. The Treasury Department is examining whether it can squeeze Mr. Caro Quintero financially while the Justice Department prepares an Interpol arrest request.

Mexico’s attorney general, Jesús Murillo Karam, has expressed concern about the decision by a Mexican court to release Mr. Caro Quintero, who had served 28 years of a 40-year sentence, and said he would appeal the ruling to the country’s Supreme Court. He told United States authorities on Monday that they should file their arrest request, and lawyers worked overnight to draft it, according to an American official. A Mexican official said that Mr. Murillo Karam encouraged the American arrest request in case he was unsuccessful in reversing the ruling in a Mexican court.

Whether Mexican authorities can find Mr. Caro Quintero again remains an open question. When he was released from prison in Jalisco State at 2 a.m. Friday, security agents monitoring the facility decided to follow him, but they lost him, the Mexican official said. The official said security agents now have an idea about his whereabouts and are looking into that.

American and Mexican officials have said they were caught off guard by the court’s ruling, with legal experts saying that Mr. Caro Quintero’s lawyers outflanked prosecutors with a technical, but often successful, argument that the case was improperly prosecuted in federal court rather than state court.

Mexico’s foreign minister, José Antonio Meade, reiterated Mexico’s disagreement with the decision and said it would work to ensure “it is corrected,” but he sidestepped questions about whether the United States had filed an extradition request. Foreign Ministry officials declined to comment.

Mexican legal experts said Mr. Caro Quintero could not be extradited for Mr. Camarena’s killing because of a double jeopardy provision in the extradition treaty that bars turning anyone over on a charge that has been heard in trial. American lawyers could argue that the judge’s ruling effectively meant that he never was legitimately tried and that double jeopardy does not apply.

The United States could also seek his extradition on other crimes he is suspected of committing. The government has long maintained that Mr. Caro Quintero continued his ties to an extensive drug and money-laundering network even from prison, and in June the Treasury Department leveled sanctions against 18 people, including six members of his family, and 15 businesses or other entities tied to him.

If the United States found a crime for which Mr. Caro Quintero had not been prosecuted, it would have to fall within the statute of limitations in Mexico, and the United States would have to assure that he would not face the death penalty, a condition that Mexico has insisted on in the past because it does not have capital punishment, said José Antonio Caballero, a law professor at the university known as CIDE who has reviewed the Caro Quintero case.

Mr. Caro Quintero was indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles in January 1988, accused of masterminding the killing of Mr. Camarena to protect his drug-trafficking organization, which was smuggling marijuana and cocaine into the United States.

In January 1989, Mr. Caro Quintero and another man were convicted in Mexico of killing Mr. Camarena and two other Americans, John Walker and Alberto Radelat, who were living in Mexico and whom his henchmen had mistaken for D.E.A. agents.

At the time, Mexico rarely extradited its citizens to face trial abroad, but under President Felipe Calderón, who forged close ties with the United States on fighting drug crime, extraditions of major cartel figures soared. During President Enrique Peña Nieto’s eight months in office, the pace has slowed considerably; the Justice Department has not released a tally.

American officials are worried that the second man convicted in the Camarena case, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, may also be freed under the legal tactic. If the federal court did not have jurisdiction in the killing, then Mr. Fonseca Carrillo’s conviction might also be moot.

Although Mr. Caro Quintero also faced state charges, the court decided he had already served time in prison commensurate with whatever sentence he might receive.”

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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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Alleged International Credit Card Trafficker BadB Extradited from France to the United States

June 18, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 15, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Vladislav Anatolievich Horohorin, aka “BadB,” of Moscow, an alleged international credit card trafficker thought to be one of the most prolific sellers of stolen credit card data, has been extradited from France to the United States to face criminal charges filed in the District of Columbia and in the Northern District of Georgia.

The extradition was 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, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia, U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Assistant Director for Investigations David J. O’Connor, and Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office.

Horohorin, 27, made his first appearance before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in the District of Columbia yesterday. He was extradited to the United States on June 6, 2012, and was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in the District of Columbia on June 7, 2012. He was ordered detained pending trial.

“According to the indictment, Mr. Horohorin was one of the most notorious credit card traffickers in the world, transacting in stolen credit information across the globe,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Due to our strong relationships with our international law enforcement partners, we secured his extradition to the United States, where he now faces multiple criminal counts in two separate indictments. We will continue to do everything we can to bring cyber criminals to justice, including those who operate beyond our borders.”

“Our indictment alleges that this young man used his technological savvy to profit by selling stolen credit card information over the Internet on a massive scale,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We are pleased that he has been extradited to the United States to face these criminal charges in a District of Columbia courtroom. This prosecution demonstrates that those who try to rip off Americans from behind a computer screen across an ocean will not escape American justice.”

“The Secret Service is committed to identifying and apprehending those individuals that continue to attack American financial institutions, and we will continue to work through our international and domestic law enforcement partners in order to accomplish this,” said USSS Assistant Director O’Connor.

“International cyber criminals who target American citizens and businesses often believe they are untouchable because they are overseas,” said U.S. Attorney Yates. “But as this case demonstrates, we will work relentlessly with our law enforcement partners around the world to charge, find, and bring those criminals to justice.”

“Horohorin’s extradition to the United States demonstrates the FBI’s expertise in conducting long-term investigations into complex criminal computer intrusions, resulting in bringing the most egregious cyber criminals to justice, even from foreign shores,” said Special Agent in Charge Lamkin. “The combined efforts of law enforcement agencies to include our international partners around the world will ensure this trend continues.”

Horohorin was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia in November 2009 on charges of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia returned a superseding indictment against Horohorin in August 2010, charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and access device fraud. In August 2010, French law enforcement authorities, working with the U.S. Secret Service, identified Horohorin in Nice, France, and arrested him as he was attempting to board a flight to return to Moscow.

According to the indictment filed in the District of Columbia, Horohorin was the subject of an undercover investigation by USSS agents. Horohorin, who is a citizen of Israel, Russia, and Ukraine, allegedly used online criminal forums such as “CarderPlanet” and “carder.su” to sell stolen credit card information, known as “dumps,” to online purchasers around the world. According to the indictment, Horohorin, using the online name “BadB,” advertised the availability of stolen credit card information through these web forums and directed purchasers to create accounts at “dumps.name,” a fully-automated dumps vending website operated by Horohorin and hosted outside the United States. The website was designed to assist in the exchange of funds for the stolen credit card information. Horohorin allegedly directed buyers to fund their “dumps.name” accounts using funds transferred by services including “Webmoney,” an online currency service hosted in Russia. The purchaser would then access the “dumps.name” website and select the desired stolen credit card data. Using an online undercover identity, USSS agents negotiated the sale of numerous stolen credit card dumps.

According to the indictment filed in the Northern District of Georgia, Horohorin was one of the lead cashers in an elaborate scheme in which 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards were used to withdraw more than $9 million from over 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities worldwide in a span of less than 12 hours. Computer hackers broke into a credit card processor located in the Atlanta area, stole debit card account numbers, and raised the balances and withdrawal limits on those accounts while distributing the account numbers and PINs to lead cashers, like Hororhorin, around the world.

Horohorin faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each count of access device fraud, 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, and a statutory consecutive penalty of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count.

The charges in the indictments are merely allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The District of Columbia case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Carol Sipperly, Ethan Arenson and Corbin Weiss of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Weiss also serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia case is being investigated by USSS. Key assistance was provided by the French Police Nationale Aux Frontiers and the Netherlands Police Agency National Crime Squad High Tech Crime Unit. The FBI Atlanta Field Office provided information helpful to the investigation.

The Northern District of Georgia case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nick Oldham and Lawrence R. Sommerfeld and Trial Attorney Sipperly of CCIPS. The Atlanta case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistance was provided by numerous law enforcement partners. U.S. Secret Service provided information helpful to the investigation.

The Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division provided invaluable assistance.”

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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 France 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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: