“El Chapo Guzman’s First Six Months In Prison: No U.S. Extradition Request And A Successful Hunger Strike”

August 25, 2014
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán
“(Photo credit: Aristegui Noticias/Xinhua)”

Forbes on August 21, 2014 released the following:

BY: Dolia Estevez
ContributoR

“Although Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has multiple U.S. criminal indictments pending against him, Washington seems to have given up on the possibility of his extradition. Six months after his extraordinary arrest in Mexico on February 22, the world’s most powerful drug kingpin has not been tried in Mexico or the U.S.

Soon after Guzmán was captured at a condominium in the Pacific port city of Mazatlán, in his home state of Sinaloa, a public brawl broke out in the U.S. over which jurisdiction would try him first. Guzmán—who was once considered by Forbes “the biggest drug lord of all times” – has been indicted in Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida. Prosecutors and law-enforcement officials in New York and Illinois argued that they had the strongest case against him.

In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named Guzmán “Public Enemy Number One.” As head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico’s most powerful criminal organization and the #1 supplier of illegal drugs to the U.S., Guzmán controlled the cocaine distribution market in Chicago.

Yet since the day of his arrest, the Mexican government said it has no intention of extraditing Guzmán, even though many Mexicans have expressed doubts through social media about Mexico’s fragile justice system’s ability to prosecute him and keep him in jail. In 2001, Guzmán bribed his way out of a Mexican top-security prison and remained at large for thirteen years by putting hundreds of law-enforcement and military officers on his payroll. Due to the levels of endemic corruption in Mexico’s law-enforcement and political institutions, nothing guarantees that Guzmán cannot buy his freedom again.

In April, upset about a controversial plea bargain with one of Guzmán’s lieutenants in a U.S. federal court in Illinois, Mexico’s Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam reaffirmed Mexico’s unwillingness to extradite Guzmán. The Mexican government’s opposition could have influenced Washington’s decision to withhold the request to bring El Chapo to the U.S. for the time being.

Guzmán is currently behind bars in Mexico’s famous maximum security prison Altiplano, in Almoloya de Juárez, located in Mexico City’s neighboring State of Mexico. In the six months since his arrest, Guzmán’s Mexican defense lawyers have been busy filing numerous injunctions to prevent him from being transferred to another prison or extradited. Last month, they filed injunctions against 17 Mexican government agencies, including the Ministry of Government (Gobernación) and the Foreign Ministry, and 15 top prisons. All were rejected by the courts after the agencies denied plans to transfer him or to extradite him to the U.S.

An earlier injunction against any extradition was also rejected on the basis that no request by the U.S. government exists. El Chapo’s worst nightmare is to face the U.S. system of justice where he would have no way out.

Even in jail, El Chapo has exerted his power and shown his leadership qualities. Last month, according to Proceso, Mexico’s leading weekly, El Chapo, or prisoner No. 3578, led a massive hunger strike to demand better treatment.

In coordination with Édgar Valdez Villarreal, a.k.a. La Barbie, a former Sinaloa Cartel drug lord who is also wanted by the U.S., 1,000 inmates (two thirds of the prison population) were recruited to join the hunger strike, which began on July 16 and ended four days later after prison authorities met most of their demands.

The protest had to do with bad food (more than 20 inmates were poisoned by eating spoiled chicken), inadequate healthcare and lack of medications. They also complained of not being given underwear, irregular compliance with family visits and the limiting of telephone calls to one attempt every nine days. Prisoners also asked for a communal 9 inchTV set, as permitted by the prison regulations.

Although Guzmán-who Proceso’s sources described as a well-mannered man with well-cared-for complexion-and Valdez, are being held in a maximum security area known as Special Treatments, where prisoners supposedly cannot communicate with each other, El Chapo and La Barbie were able to lead a successful strike. This shows not only that El Chapo still has power, but he also knows how to use it.

Since 2009, El Chapo has been included in Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful People list. In 2013, he was dropped from Forbes World’s Billionaire List.”

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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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“Leader of Zetas drug cartel captured: ’40’ may be extradited to U.S.”

July 17, 2013

Los Angeles Times on July 16, 2013 released the following:

“By Tracy Wilkinson

MEXICO CITY _ Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, top leader of the vicious Zetas drug-and-extortion cartel, was in a cell in Mexico City on Tuesday, awaiting interrogation and possible extradition to the United States.

Treviño, known as “40,” was transported to the capital late Monday after his capture in the border city of Nuevo Laredo by Mexican navy special forces following what authorities described as a long pursuit based in part on U.S.-supplied intelligence. Mexican media showed images of him striding in to the federal prosecutor’s organized crime unit, wearing a black polo shirt, escorted by military guards but without handcuffs or other restraints.

Treviño was considered one of the most brutal leaders of a particularly brutal organization, one that branched out from drug trafficking to extortion, kidnapping and the smuggling of migrants — who Treviño and his men routinely slaughtered when they did not cooperate or pay up, authorities say.

Mexico under siege

His arrest marks the most significant blow to organized crime since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office more than seven months ago. His government will certainly attempt to use the arrest to prove its commitment in the drug war — a commitment that has been questioned in many circles, including among U.S. officials who had previously worked extremely closely with their Mexican counterparts but found the rules changing under the new administration.

But the capture will also likely ignite a bloody wave of violence as Treviño’s cohorts fight to succeed him.

It also strengthens the hand of the most powerful drug lord in Mexico, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whose Sinaloa Cartel competes with the Zetas and may now have its eyes on Nuevo Laredo, Treviño’s hometown and one of the most lucrative crossing points for the shipment of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S.

Under Treviño, the Zetas “controlled hundreds of miles of Mexican territory along the border of Mexico and the United States, which they used to conduct their drug trafficking and money laundering operations” that were valued in millions of dollars, a 2012 indictment in U.S. federal court stated.

The U.S., which had offered a $5-million reward for his arrest, may seek Treviño’s extradition.

The Zetas were formed nearly a decade ago by leaders of the Gulf cartel as their muscle, recruited from a group of deserters from the Mexican army. But the Zetas eventually split from the cartel and surpassed it, spreading its operations through southern Mexico and Central America and exhibiting levels of brutality not previously seen with such regularity. Beheadings, massacres of migrants, torture and dismembering of live victims all became routine parts of the Zetas repertoire.

Authorities believe the Zetas are responsible for many of the more than 70,000 people killed in the last six years of a military-led offensive against powerful drug cartels and fighting among the traffickers.”

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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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Colombia Awaits Extradition of Alleged Drug Trafficker

November 10, 2012

ABC News on November 9, 2012 released the following updated story:

“By CESAR GARCIA Associated Press
BOGOTA November 9, 2012 (AP)

Colombian police are waiting for the extradition of a drug trafficker caught in Venezuela who they say is one of the main suppliers of Mexican cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, one of the world’s most sought-after drug lords.

Police said Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa was captured in Venezuela late Thursday and would be deported to Colombia in the coming days. A U.S. court in Florida is also asking for his extradition on drug trafficking charges.

“The organization of Cifuentes Villa is one of the main suppliers of cocaine for the Sinaloa cartel,” which is headed by Guzman, Colombian police Gen. Jose Roberto Leon said at a news conference Friday.

Known as “JJ,” Cifuentes Villa was captured with the help of tips provided to Colombia’s Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol. His arrest was announced by Venezuela’s interior and justice ministers Thursday via Twitter.

Leon praised the capture by Venezuelan authorities and said the 47-year-old Cifuentes Villa had tried to use a false identification document using the name Juan Carlos Lopez Mejia before he was caught.

The suspect’s brother, Francisco Cifuentes Villa, was a well-known member of a right-wing paramilitary group that doubled as a drug trafficking operation. He was murdered in 2007 at a farm in Colombia’s northeastern state of Antioquia.

Francisco Cifuentes Villa allegedly began dealing drugs with the feared Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, who headed the Medellin cartel until he was killed in December 1993.

Police say that after Francisco Cifuentes Villa was killed, his siblings took over the illegal business and forged an alliance with Guzman.

Colombian police say the Cifuentes Villa brothers sent about 30 tons of cocaine to the United States in the past three years. Police say Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa owns about 40 businesses in Latin America, Spain and the United States while the Cifuentes Villa family has amassed a fortune of some $331 million.”

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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.

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela 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

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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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

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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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Alleged Mexican Drug Kingpin ‘La Barbie’ Seeks Extradition to U.S.

September 13, 2010

Edgar Valdez Villareal, a U.S.-born alleged drug lord who was captured in Mexico last week, wants to return to his roots in Texas to face trial rather than stay in a Mexican jail, his lawyer said.

Valdez, called “La Barbie” in Mexico for his green eyes and sandy colored hair, has a reputation for beheading opponents in Mexico’s violent drug wars. He fears that he will get killed in a Mexican prison, according to Kent Schaffer, his Houston-based lawyer.

Schaffer asked U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual to appeal to the Mexican government to deport Valdez to the U.S., where he faces charges of drug trafficking.

Valdez denies all charges against him, and denies that he was responsible for any beheadings.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy said it deferred to the Mexican government on the deportation issue. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Justice Department wouldn’t comment specifically on the request.

Valdez is being held for a 40-day period while Mexican police investigate charges against him. Mexican officials say they will decide later on whether he will face charges in Mexico or whether he will be deported to the U.S., where he faces charges of trafficking tons of cocaine in Georgia, Texas and Louisiana.

A spokeswoman for the office of Mexico’s attorney general said Valdez is being held at federal police headquarters, where he is safe.

The deportation request is an unusual one in the history of Latin American drug trafficking. In the 1980s, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar led a bombing campaign against the government there partly to avoid being sent to the U.S. More recently, scores of Mexican drug traffickers have been forcibly extradited to the U.S.

Valdez, 37 years old, is the first major suspected Mexican drug lord captured alive since his former boss, Arturo Beltran Leyva, known as the “Boss of Bosses,” was killed in a gunbattle with Mexican marines in December. Ignacio Coronel, a leading figure in the Sinaloa Cartel, died in a gunfight with Mexican soldiers in July.

Since Valdez has worked with most of Mexico’s top drug barons, including the country’s most powerful trafficker, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, he could provide officials with valuable intelligence, analysts say.

Born and raised in the border city of Laredo, Texas, Valdez was a high-school football standout who went on to become one of Mexico’s most-wanted criminals.

Valdez’s deportation would raise the possibility that the alleged drug lord could cut a deal for a reduced sentence with U.S. authorities in exchange for information.

Speed is of the essence, as the Mexican prison system is notoriously dangerous and Valdez has a lot of enemies.

Two weeks ago, José Luis Carrizales, who like Valdez was an alleged enforcer for the Sinaloa cartel, was killed just hours after being transferred to the penitentiary in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which is largely controlled by a rival drug gang known as the Zetas.

Controversy has swirled around Valdez since his arrest last week. He startled many Mexicans by smiling during his presentation to reporters in Mexico’s version of the “perp walk.” Many newspaper and TV commentators speculated that the smile suggested Valdez hadn’t been captured, as the government says, but voluntarily surrendered in exchange for a lighter sentence. Conflicting versions of Valdez’s capture have fed the controversy. Mexican media, basing their accounts on a police report, said Valdez was arrested after federal police pulled over his three-car convoy for speeding. According to this account, the police didn’t know who they had stopped until Valdez got out, identified himself and surrendered.

The official government version, sketchy on details, said Valdez was captured after his rural estate was surrounded by federal police in the culmination of a yearlong search.

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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