Suspected Mexican drug ‘queen’ extradited to U.S.

August 10, 2012
Sandra Avila Beltran
“Sandra Avila Beltran, also known as the “Queen of the Pacific.””

CNN on August 10, 2012 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

Mexico City (CNN) — One of the most high-profile women accused of connections with Mexico’s drug trade was extradited to the United States Thursday, officials said.

Mexican police handed over Sandra Avila Beltran, known as “The Queen of the Pacific,” to U.S. marshals at an airport in central Mexico Thursday morning, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

She will face cocaine trafficking charges in a federal court in Florida, prosecutors said.

Avila was once a key drug trafficking link between Colombia and Mexico, prosecutors have said. She was arrested in Mexico City on September 28, 2007, smiling before cameras as authorities trumpeted her detention.

Since then, her life has been the subject of a best-selling book and a popular ballad.

“The more beautiful the rose, the sharper the thorns,” says one line in “The Queen of Queens,” Los Tigres del Norte’s song describing Avila.

Her eye-catching nickname has regularly made headlines as Mexico’s case against her made its way through the nation’s courts.

A judge convicted her on money laundering charges, but ruled that Mexican prosecutors didn’t provide enough evidence to convict her of drug trafficking.

In 2011, authorities in Mexico City said they were investigating a tip that prison medical personnel had allowed a doctor to give Avila a Botox injection.

Avila denied that accusation, Mexico’s state-run Notimex news agency reported.

For more than two years, Avila has tried to block a U.S. extradition request. A Mexican judge ruled that she could be extradited in June.

A 2008 U.S. Congressional Research Service report described Avila as “a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel who was instrumental” in building ties with Colombian traffickers.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Avila was suspected of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States along with Juan Diego Espinosa, a Colombian national who was also known as “The Tiger.”

The DEA said that in November 2001, Espinosa, Avila and others “allegedly arranged the shipment of cocaine from Colombia to the United States by ship.” The ship, loaded with 9,291 kilograms of cocaine, was boarded by U.S. agents near Manzanillo, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

U.S. authorities extradited Espinosa from Mexico in 2008. A judge sentenced him to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a cocaine distribution conspiracy charge in 2009. A court document signed as part of the plea agreement said that he and Avila had taken part in a deal to distribute 100 kilograms of cocaine in Chicago.

In the United States, Avila faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if she is convicted of charges of conspiracy to import and sell cocaine, according to a 2004 indictment filed in U.S. district court.

In a 2009 interview with Anderson Cooper that aired on “60 Minutes” and CNN, Avila denied the charges against her, and blamed Mexico’s government for allowing drug trafficking to flourish.

“In Mexico there’s a lot of corruption, A lot. Large shipments of drugs can come into the Mexican ports or airports without the authorities knowing about it. It’s obvious and logical. The government has to be involved in everything that is corrupt,” she said.”

————————————————————–

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:


Guatemala to possibly extradite alleged Sinaloa cartel member to the United States (U.S.)

June 13, 2012

Fox News Latino on June 13, 2012 released the following:

“Guatemala to extradite Sinaloa cartel member to U.S.

A Guatemalan court has given the United States 40 working days to present evidence against Walter Alirio Montejo, a Guatemalan suspected of belonging to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel and the subject of a U.S. extradition request, judicial officials said.

Montejo was arrested Sunday in Huehuetenango, a province on the border with Mexico.

The suspect appeared before a criminal court in Guatemala City on Tuesday and refused to make a statement.

The court has given a U.S. federal court in the District of Columbia time to present evidence to back the extradition request.

The 38-year-old Montejo allegedly belongs to the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s oldest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, and is wanted on drug charges in the United States.

An arrest warrant was issued for Montejo by U.S. authorities in 2010, judicial officials said.

Montejo allegedly received drugs in Guatemala from South America that were bound for the United States.

The suspect belonged to the Los Lorenzana gang, which smuggled drugs into Mexico from Huehuetenango, judicial officials said, adding that the narcotics were later smuggled into the United States.

Montejo, according to Guatemalan authorities, was the target of a hit in November 2008 that sparked a shootout between Mexican and Guatemalan drug traffickers that left 17 people dead in a village in Huehuetenango.

Waldemar Lorenzana, the suspected leader of the Los Lorenzana gang, was arrested in April 2011 at the request of the United States, where he is the subject of an extradition case.

Guatemalan authorities have not yet acted on the request for the extradition of Lorenzana, who faces drug charges in the United States.

Elio Lorenzana, Waldemar’s son, was arrested in Guatemala in November 2011 and his extradition was authorized in February.

The Sinaloa cartel is led by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001.

The Sinaloa organization is sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel.

Guzman, considered extremely violent, is one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him. EFE”

————————————————————–

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 Guatemala 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:


U.S. judge finds for MegaUpload, orders DOJ to cooperate on user files

April 16, 2012

RawStory.com on April 13, 2012 released the following:

“By Stephen C. Webster

A judge in Alexandria, Virginia ruled Friday in favor of attorneys for the cyberlocker website MegaUpload, ordering the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to work with the site’s operators to return personal files to more than 60 million of the site’s users.

MegaUplaod founder Kim Dotcom, an eccentric New Zealand millionaire, stands accused in the U.S. of running the largest pirate media operation in history, and is currently fighting a U.S. extradition request in his own country following a January SWAT raid on his estate. MegaUpload provided blind file hosting to its users, enabling them to upload and share anything, but it also gave content creators the ability to report and delete links to files that infringed upon copyrights.

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady agreed with MegaUpload attorney Ira Rothken in a hearing Friday, and ordered the DOJ to work with MegaUpload and its users to reach an amicable solution to the quandary of legitimate, non-infringing files being held in legal limbo. The question of what will happen to the files arose after an Ohio-based entrepreneur teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to sue for access to his business files.

Prosecutors argued Friday that the DOJ should simply order the hosting company to delete MegaUpload’s user files, as they’ve already obtained a large sample of the files to be used as evidence against MegaUpload, which will be turned over to defense attorneys amid the evidence discovery process.

The site had more than 150 million users at the time of the New Zealand raid. MegaUpload’s managers have since said that its users included government workers and even congressional staffers, along with soldiers overseas who used the service to share multimedia with their families in the U.S. At least six movie studios have argued that MegaUpload was growing an illegal operation that, at its core, was just designed to facilitate piracy.

Judge O’Grady’s ruling Friday is another in a series of minor victories for MegaUpload and Dotcom, who recently saw a judge in New Zealand chastise police for raiding his home based upon a bogus warrant. Officials tried to file for the correct warrant after the fact, making it retroactive. The judge said she may ultimately order that all of Dotcom’s assets be returned to him, which would provide a significant boost to his legal defense. Security footage of that raid has since mysteriously disappeared while in police custody.”

————————————————————–

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 New Zealand 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 C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


A Mexican Federal Judge Rejected a Second Attempt to Extradite an Alleged Drug Trafficker, Sandra Avila Beltran, to the U.S.

January 16, 2012

Boston.com on January 13, 2012 released the following:

“2nd try to extradite Mexican accused narco denied

Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press

A Mexican federal judge on Thursday rejected a second attempt to extradite an alleged drug trafficker to the U.S., nearly exhausting yearslong efforts by both nations to convict a woman known as the “Queen of the Pacific.’’

Judge Jesus Chavez ruled that Sandra Avila Beltran would face the same charges in Florida on which she was acquitted in Mexico.

Chavez said the core of a 2004 indictment against Avila in the Southern District of Florida is the seizure of more than nine tons of U.S.-bound cocaine on Mexico’s west coast.

A Mexican judge acquitted Avila in December 2010 of charges stemming from the same confiscation of drugs off a vessel nine years earlier in the port of Manzanillo. An appeals court upheld that verdict last August.

“It is impossible to say the actions related to the more than nine tons of cocaine discovered in the vessel would not be subject of the foreign trial for which U.S. officials seek the defendant,’’ Chavez said, according to a news statement.

In the U.S., Avila was indicted on two conspiracy charges to import and distribute cocaine and has been wanted since November 2007, two months after her arrest in Mexico.

The judge said Mexico’s constitution prohibits double jeopardy and thus prevents extraditing a citizen for trial in another country on charges they already faced at home.

Officials from the Foreign Relations Department and Mexican Attorney General’s office declined to comment, saying they were studying the decision. Both can contest it, but the next outcome by an appeals court would be final.

A Mexican appeals panel rejected a first U.S. extradition request on the same grounds.

Avila remains in a western Mexico prison in the state of Nayarit, pending trial for a separate money-laundering charge. Mexican officials did not reveal her lawyer’s identity.

Avila has claimed she is innocent and says she made her money selling clothes and renting houses.

When she was arrested in 2007 sipping coffee in a Mexico City diner, prosecutors alleged that Avila spent more than a decade working her way to the top of Mexico’s drug trade, seducing several notorious kingpins and uniting Colombian and Mexican gangs.

Avila’s romance with Colombian Juan Diego Espinoza Ramirez brought together Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel with Colombia’s Norte del Valle, prosecutors said. Espinoza was extradited to Florida in December 2008, two years before he was found not guilty on charges in Mexico related to the cocaine shipment.

Avila is the niece of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, “the godfather’’ of Mexican drug smuggling who is serving a 40-year sentence in Mexico for trafficking and the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico’s western Jalisco state.”

————————————————————–

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 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.


US asks Portugal’s Supreme Court to review case of American fugitive George Wright

January 16, 2012

The Washington Post on January 14, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal — The United States has asked Portugal’s Supreme Court to review its refusal to extradite American fugitive George Wright, a U.S. Department of Justice official said.

Portuguese police captured Wright in September last year, 41 years after he escaped from a U.S. prison where he was serving a sentence for murder. He had been living in Portugal since 1993 after a spell in Africa and other European countries.

A Lisbon court denied an initial U.S. extradition request in November and freed Wright, prompting the U.S. to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court.

But the higher court disallowed the appeal last month on procedural grounds.

Department of Justice spokesperson Laura Sweeney said in an email to the AP late Friday the U.S. has asked the court to review what she said was a “preliminary ruling.”

Wright’s lawyer Manuel Luis Ferreira said he was aware of the latest U.S. request. However, he said he had not had time to study it in detail and declined to comment.

Court officials were not available Saturday.

Wright, now called Jorge Luis dos Santos after changing his name, is married to a Portuguese woman and has two grown children. They live near Lisbon, the Portuguese capital.

The lower court judge had ruled that Wright, 68, had become a Portuguese citizen and that the statute of limitations on his 15- to 30-year sentence for a robbery-murder in New Jersey had expired.

Wright spent seven years in a U.S. prison for the murder before breaking out in 1970.

He and others then hijacked a plane in 1972 from the U.S. to Algeria along with other Black Liberation Army militants.

Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony in West Africa, granted him political asylum in the 1980s when it was run by a Marxist government. Wright then got Portuguese citizenship through his 1991 marriage to a Portuguese woman.

Wright was captured in Portugal after his U.S. fingerprint matched one in Portugal’s database of prints for all citizens, according to U.S. officials.”

————————————————————–

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 Portugal 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.