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.”

————————————————————–

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

Email:


Police arrest alleged prominent narco in central Colombia

March 5, 2012

Colombia Reports on March 5, 2012 released the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————————————————–

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

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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

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

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


As Cartel Members Face Extradition, Rastrojos Consider Surrender to the US

October 6, 2011

The extradition of another top lieutenant from the Rastrojos drug gang, heirs to the powerful Norte del Valle Cartel, delivers more leverage to U.S. authorities to force the group’s leadership to surrender.

Former hitman and drug smuggler Juan Carlos Rivera Ruiz, alias “06,” was extradited from Colombia to the U.S. on September 29. Rivera worked for the Rastrojos, successors to the once-powerful Norte del Valle Cartel, which now operates across Colombia, expanding away from its base on the Pacific coast. According to El Nuevo Herald, Rivera helped the current leaders of the Rastrojos kill their ex-boss, Norte del Valle Cartel commander Wilber Varela, in Venezuela in 2008. Varela’s death allowed the “Comba” brothers — Luis Enrique and Javier Antonio Calle Serna — to take control of Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking network.

Rivera’s extradition means that the U.S. authorities now have a slew of Rastrojos commanders behind bars. Many of those currently in detention were once important contacts for the Sinaloa Cartel, as well as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Detainees like Rivera, who coordinated the Rastrojos’ drug shipments from the Pacific port city Buenaventura, will be able to paint a detailed picture of how the group coordinated cocaine shipments to Central America and Europe.

In addition to providing intelligence about the Rastrojos’ drug networks, Rivera will likely serve another, more symbolic purpose. U.S. authorities are reportedly already in the middle of negotiations with the Calle Serna brothers, rumored to have been in the works since April 2011.•InSight Crime has heard reports that Luis Enrique is already in the U.S., making the appropriate contacts. By putting key middlemen like Rivera in U.S. prisons, the U.S. is gaining the leverage needed to pressure the Calle Serna brothers into sharing more exclusive intelligence on gang operations. This means if and when the Calle Sernas turn themselves in, they will be forced to betray many other top-level collaborators, reducing the chance that the Rastrojos could survive the brothers’ exit intact.

It is significant that the “Comba” brothers reportedly reached out to the U.S. just as their rivalry with the Urabeños has intensified into a nationwide conflict. Fighting between these two gangs was once limited mostly to Antioquia’s northern Bajo Cauca region. Since then, it has spread to Antioquia’s capital, Medellin, to the Rastrojos’ stronghold along the Pacific, and even outside of Colombia. Some of the 45 murders registered last September in the Venezuelan border state Tachira have reportedly been traced to the Rastrojos-Urabeños conflict.

It isn’t clear, however, that it is the war with the Urabeños that prompted the Calle Sernas to negotiate. Rather, the war was a result of the string of arrests of Rastrojos’ middle leadership, which disrupted operations and allowed the Urabeños to boldly venture into their rival’s territory. The ongoing violence, in turn, upped the pressure on Luis Enrique and Javier Antonio.

The arrest and extradition of many mid-level Rastrojos commanders has pushed the group into acting more like an extremely decentralized franchise. This is in contrast to the Urabeños, who are somewhat more disciplined and willing to apply orders on a national basis. This also raises the question of how well the Calle Sernas can control the actions of the many drug trafficking cells who have adopted the “Rastrojos” name.

Rather than taking orders from a central command, several Rastrojos cells across the country are choosing to follow their own course, especially when it comes to relations with the FARC. This is most clear in the southwestern Pacific department of Nariño. Here, InSight Crime heard reports of an outbreak of war between the left-wing guerrillas and an aggressively ideological, right-wing faction of the Rastrojos, many of them former members of the paramilitary bloc once active there. The conflict has manifested in a wave of kidnappings and killings across Nariño, as the Rastrojos and the FARC fight for control of coca crops.

Elsewhere in the country, the Rastrojos are working alongside with the FARC in the interests of drug trafficking. That the Rastrojos franchise in Nariño is pursuing their rivarly with the rebels, rather than being forced to obey a nationwide truce, is an indication of how little control the Calle Sernas wield over certain factions of the Rastrojos.

The Rastrojos’ tendency to operate like a loosely connected franchise network will only accentuate if the Calle Sernas surrender to the U.S. In that case, the remaining middle leadership of the Rastrojos would have little incentive (or power) to push for alliances at the national, rather than local, level. The trends currently playing out in Colombia will likely only get worse: further fragmentation of the country’s criminal gangs, and increased violence across the board as each independent cell pursues their own blood feuds.

This article was written by Elyssa Pachico and published by Insight Crime on October 5, 2011.

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.

Bookmark and Share


Colombia to Extradite 5 Men for Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering

October 4, 2011

The Colombian government will extradite five Colombian citizens to the U.S and Spain to face trial for drug trafficking and money laundering.

Anti-drugs police captured Heder Augusto Sarria Martinez, alias “Niño Malo” in May this year.

Sarria allegedly ran drug trafficking operations in Cali and the department of Norte del Valle on behalf of “Los Comba” brothers from the “Rastrojos” gang.

He will be extradited to the US on drug charges, while in Colombia he was also accused of forcing people of their land, extortion, aggravated assault, use of false documents and weapons offences.

George Richard Baquero Estrada is wanted by the New York district court for drug trafficking and extortion.

Following his arrest in Medellin in January, authorities accused Baquero, alias “El Pollo,” of managing the finances of the Rastrojos.

Adolfo Erazo Rosero, alias “Chigüiro”, was arrested in May in a joint operation between Colombian Prosecutors and the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Authorities accuse him of smuggling drug profits from the U.S through Mexico and Central America and into Colombia for laundering.

Luis Eduardo Pinzón Mahecha will be extradited to Puerto Rico to face trial on drug and money laundering charges. He was arrested in February this year for allegedly running a money laundering operation for the now defunct Norte del Valle cartel.

DAS officers captured Jose Alexander Zapata Osorio in the city of Armenia in central Colombia.

In 2007, Spanish courts tried Zapata in his absence, sentencing him to six years for smuggling several shipments of cocaine into the country.

This article was written by James Bargent and published by the Colombia Reports on Monday, 03 October 2011.

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.

Bookmark and Share