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.”

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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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Yakima man wanted for murder extradited from Mexico

May 26, 2012

KIMATV.com on May 25, 2012 released the following:

“By Tyler Slauson & Michael Spears

YAKIMA, Wash. — One of America’s Most Wanted is now back in Yakima. Police in Mexico captured Jose Ayala at the end of last year.

Ayala was wanted for murdering his girlfriend back in 2008 and was featured on America’s Most Wanted.

Part of the extradition agreement included a cap on his sentencing range if found guilty of second degree murder.

” When Mexico is going to release someone to the U.S. They can’t be looking at more than 25-years in prison, they’re not eligible for any death penalty cases. So that’s sort of the big cut off,’ said Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeff Marty.

Ayala made his first court appearance in Yakima Friday.

YAKIMA POLICE NEWS RELEASE — On Thursday May 24, 2012 Jose A. Ayala 22 YOA was extradited from Mexico by US Marshals and handed over to Yakima Police Detectives at SeaTac International Airport.

Ayala was booked last night by Yakima Police Detectives into the Yakima County Jail on the charge of Murder 2nd Degree Domestic Violence.

Ayala was wanted in relation to the October 22, 2008 homicide of his girlfriend Yesenia Haro.

Ayala has been in custody in Mexico since November, 2011 awaiting extradition.

Yakima Police Detectives, Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office, United States Marshal Service and the United State Department of Justice worked together on the extradition process.”

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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: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


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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International Extradition of Houston Day Care Worker Raises Serious Legal Questions

March 7, 2011

Jessica Rene Tata, a U.S. citizen wanted for her alleged role in a Houston day care fire, has yet to be added to the INTERPOL Red Notice fugitive list, despite media reports to the contrary. Tata has allegedly fled the United States and is thought to be in Nigeria. As of this afternoon, INTERPOL has still not published a Red Notice for Tata.

On February 24, a fire in a Houston day care owned and operated by Tata, claimed the lives of four children and left three survivors. Allegedly, Tata was not on the premises when the fire began.

The issue arises whether the Houston District Attorney’s Office has over-charged the case. Tata was originally charged with reckless injury to a child on Monday, February 28 and an arrest warrant was issued. The following day, Tata was additionally charged with six counts of reckless injury to a child and three counts of abandoning a child under the age of 15. On Wednesday, the Southern District of Texas charged Tata with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Last Thursday, a grand jury indicted Tata on four counts of manslaughter. The charges against Tata have now risen to 15 counts.

It seems the Houston DA’s office is scrambling to bring charges against Tata, first for her arrest, and subsequently thereafter. Significantly, the original charges against Tata are not extraditable offenses under the U.S. and Nigerian extradition treaty, which most likely explains the grand jury indictment for manslaughter. Manslaughter is an extraditable offense under the treaty, but why did it take the Houston DA’s office three different sets of charges to eventually charge Tata with an extraditable offense? Moreover, only when the U.S. and Nigerian extradition treaty and extraditable offenses were brought to the attention of the Houston DA’s office by multiple outside sources, did the manslaughter charges arise. It appears Tata has been indicted with manslaughter for extradition purposes, not because the Houston DA’s office believes manslaughter is the proper charge in the case.

The Houston DA’s office needs to realize international extradition proceedings will most likely take time. If Tata agrees to extradition, she may be back in the U.S. within a month or so. However, if she fights the extradition request, she will be entitled to a hearing in Nigeria that will require the U.S. government to show probable cause for the charges underlying her extradition. This could be a serious issue for the Houston DA’s office due to the problems discussed above.

In addition to the onslaught of charges, the U.S. Marshals Service added Tata to the list of 15 Most Wanted last Friday. The U.S. Marshals have identified Tata as “armed and dangerous,” but on what grounds? Nothing in the case indicates Tata is in fact armed and dangerous. This designation has serious implications for Tata. For example, law enforcement authorities may exceed what is necessary for her arrest if they believe she is armed and dangerous.

The allegations against Tata are indeed serious. However, state and federal law enforcement authorities have to play by the rules and follow state and international extradition laws. Over-charging an individual and manipulating the system compromises the integrity of the entire U.S. judicial process, and law enforcement authorities need to keep that in mind.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the 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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