“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

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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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Longtime American Fugitive Is Arrested Selling Time Shares at Airport in Mexico

July 16, 2012

The New York Times on July 15, 2012 released the following:

“By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

When he fled the United States over two decades ago, Vincent Legrend Walters was considered a violent drug dealer, accused of killing a woman in a botched kidnapping before vanishing, presumably with a small fortune.

But when agents from the United States Marshals Service last week tracked down Mr. Walters, who was on their list of the 15 most wanted fugitives, they were surprised to find him in a more sedate career: selling time shares to tourists in the Mexican resort town of Cancún.

“We were under the impression that he left with a good amount of money and thought he would have stayed in the illegal drug trade,” Steve Jurman, a spokesman for the Marshals Service, said by telephone on Sunday. “Now it appears that he had to work for a living.”

At the behest of the Marshals Service, Mexican police officials took Mr. Walters, 45, into custody on Friday after a fingerprint analysis determined that he was the man federal agents had been seeking since September 1988. He was arrested at his workplace at Cancún International Airport.

It was an ignominious ending for Mr. Walters, who seemed to have an uncanny ability to elude detection even in plain sight. Only fugitives whose cases are under heightened scrutiny appear on the Marshals Service’s most wanted list, and Mr. Walters holds the record for being on the list longer than anyone else, Mr. Jurman said.

Mr. Walters, who was born in Mexico but grew up in California, was living in the San Diego area when he became mired in a dispute with other drug dealers over a cache of methamphetamine, according to the Marshals Service.

He had already appeared on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s radar, the Marshals Service said in a statement, for reportedly buying $20,000 worth of chemicals to make methamphetamine and then, unbeknown to him, entering into negotiations with undercover agents for more supplies.

The year was 1988. An associate of Mr. Walters, fearing arrest, gave his supply of finished methamphetamine to another dealer, who then passed it on to someone else.

Mr. Walters, though, wanted the drugs back, the statement said.

The Marshals Service said Mr. Walters kidnapped the dealer who initially passed on the drugs, a friend of the dealer and the friend’s girlfriend, a woman named Christina Reyes, and he offered to exchange them for the drugs, which were being held by a man named Jay Bareno.

Mr. Bareno agreed to the exchange and returned the drugs, the statement said. The two men were released, but Ms. Reyes died after she was gagged with a rag soaked in chemicals.

Mr. Walters disappeared after the episode.

It is unclear how he was able to escape, especially since he was already under surveillance.

His brother, Martin Walters, was arrested almost immediately and was eventually convicted of participating in the kidnapping. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

In July 1989, a federal grand jury indicted Vincent Walters on conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute crystal methamphetamine, carrying firearms during a drug trafficking crime and possession of unregistered firearms and explosives.

His mother, Martha Walters, and her sister, Carmen Elenes-Fonseca, were sentenced to 37 months in prison in 1990 for trying to hire a hit man to kill two witnesses in the case against the Walters brothers, according to The San Diego Evening Tribune.

Information detailing how the authorities were able to track down Mr. Walters remains classified, said Mr. Jurman, the Marshals Service spokesman. He said investigators were working to piece together the last 24 years of Mr. Walters’s life, trying to determine, for instance, whether he was ever again involved in the drug trade.

The Marshals Service said in its statement that Mr. Walters had bragged to others that he was a wanted fugitive in the United States. The authorities said he was living under the name Oscar Rivera and working out of a stall in the Cancún airport. A spokesperson for the airport could not be reached for comment.

The authorities in Mexico have transferred Mr. Walters to Mexico City, where he will undergo extradition procedures that are required because he is a Mexican citizen.

Given the horrendous violence associated with the Mexican drug trade these days and the seemingly intractable war with trafficking organizations, Mr. Walters’s crimes seem like a throwback to a bygone era. Nevertheless, federal authorities described his arrest as a victory.

“The U.S. Marshals are thrilled with the capture of this violent fugitive,” Steven Stafford, federal marshal for the Southern District of California, said in a statement. “This is a prime example of the sheer determination and persistence we have when tracking down a wanted criminal.””

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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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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

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Ex-‘Survivor’ producer’s extradition in wife’s slaying is upheld

December 22, 2011

Los Angeles Times on December 22, 2011 released the following:

“A federal judge has ruled that there is enough evidence to justify extraditing a former “Survivor” TV show producer to Mexico to face trial in his wife’s slaying.

Bruce Beresford-Redman is charged with killing his wife, Monica, while on holiday in Cancun. Her body was found in a sewer at the resort hotel where the couple was vacationing with their children in April 2010.

The couple had allegedly argued about his infidelities at the hotel, and other hotel guests reported hearing loud noises and cries for help coming from the room.

In July, a U.S. magistrate judge ruled there was probable cause to extradite Beresford-Redman to Mexico.

The producer, who maintains he is innocent, asked U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez to overturn the decision, saying there was not enough evidence to constitute probable cause for extradition.

Gutierrez denied the request Wednesday, citing “pages upon pages of competent evidence demonstrating that the fugitive committed the offense for which extradition was sought.”

“The Certification [of Extraditability] summarizes the infidelity, fighting, screaming from the hotel room, the fugitive’s opportunity to dispose of the victim’s body, the ultimate location of the victim’s body (25 meters from the hotel room), the victim leaving her cellphone behind, scratches and abrasions upon the fugitive’s body, and the fugitive’s flight. All of this evidence points to homicide committed by the fugitive,” he wrote.

The defense team could still file a petition with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the decision. Otherwise, the U.S. State Department will make the ultimate decision on the extradition request.”

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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 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.


Man charged in fatal ICE ambush

December 22, 2011

El Paso Times on December 22, 2011 released the following:

“By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times

A man accused of taking part in the Feb. 11 slaying of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent that also left a second ICE agent wounded was charged on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., after Mexico extradited him to the United States.

Julian “Piolin” Zapata Espinoza faces charges for his alleged role in the murder of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata of Brownsville, and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila of El Paso.

“The extradition and charges filed against Zapata Espinoza is an important step in bringing Jaime and Victor’s alleged shooters to justice,” ICE Director John Morton said. “All of us at ICE are encouraged by today’s action and appreciate the unwavering work and support of all our law enforcement partners in this case.”

“The indictment unsealed today and the successful extradition of ‘Piolin’ to the United States reflect the Justice Department’s vigorous and determined efforts to seek justice for Agents Zapata and Avila,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to hold violent criminals accountable.”

On April 19, a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a four-count indictment against Zapata Espinoza, charging him with one count of murder of an officer or employee of the United States, for the murder of Jaime Zapata; one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States; and one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person, both for the attempted murder of Avila; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.

Zapata Espinoza, who is being held without bond, appeared in U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s court and pleaded not guilty. His next appearance in court is scheduled for Jan. 25.

In a statement, the Mexican National Defense Secretariat said Mexican soldiers captured Zapata Espinoza on Feb. 23, along with other alleged members of the Zetas drug cartel.

Military officials said Zapata Espinoza “stated he was in charge of the group of gunmen that shot the U.S. agent, (and that) he said that this event was a mistake because they thought that the people in the (U.S. agents’) vehicle were members of an antagonistic (rival) group.”

U.S. officials said the two U.S. agents were traveling from a meeting in San Luis Potosi to Mexico City the day they were ambushed by a group of armed men.

Zapata, who began his law enforcement career with the Border Patrol, was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.

Avila, the ICE agent who was shot twice in the leg, recovered from his wounds.

One of the charges is that Zapata Espinoza participated in the attempted murder of an “internationally protected person,” according to the indictment against him.

“He was apparently a U.S. federal agent that pursuant to international law had special protection,” said Douglas C. McNabb, a lawyer and senior principal with McNabb Associates PC, a global criminal defense firm with a website at www.mcnabbassociates.com.

Sheldon Snook, a deputy court clerk in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., said the U.S. Attorneys Manual defines “internationally protected persons” based on U.S. legislation and United Nations conventions, including the Vienna Convention.

Such persons can include heads of state, diplomats and others that in this case the U.S. State Department has determined holds the status.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.


Mexico Extradites Flight Attendant Who Set Fire on U.S. Flight

August 5, 2011

Latin American Herald Tribune on August 4, 2011 released the following:

“MEXICO CITY – The Mexican Attorney General’s Office said Thursday it extradited a former flight attendant who had fled the United States after his arrest for setting fire to a plane’s bathroom.

Eder H. Rojas, a Mexican national, was wanted for extradition by a federal court in North Dakota for setting the fire 35 minutes after the Compass Airlines flight carrying 76 people took off in 2008 from Minneapolis bound for Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Rojas, then 19, another flight attendant and a passenger extinguished the blaze after the fire alarm sounded, but the plane still was forced make an emergency landing in the North Dakota city of Fargo.

After being questioned by FBI agents, Rojas confessed that he was upset with the airline for making him work the Minneapolis-Regina route and that was why he used a lighter to set fire to a packet of toilet paper in the plane’s bathroom.

Other flight crew members testified that Rojas had asked for an extra packet of toilet paper before the plane took off and that led investigators to suspect the Mexican, who eventually confessed.

After his arrest, the suspect escaped from a low-security detention facility and fled across the border into Mexico.

Rojas was subsequently arrested in Mexico by Federal Police officers and jailed in Mexico City, the AG’s office said in a statement.

The Mexican government extradited Rojas after he had exhausted all avenues of appeal and the suspect was handed over at the Mexico City airport to a group of U.S. Marshals, the AG’s office said.

Rojas faces up to 20 years in prison. EFE”

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 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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U.S. – Mexico Extradition Treaty may mean No Death Penalty for Simon Lopez

August 3, 2011

Simon Lopez, charged in Smith County, Texas with the beating death of his girlfriend’s one-year-old son, may not face the death penalty.

Smith County district attorney Matt Bingham says he’s not sure yet if his office will seek the death penalty for Lopez, who is charged with capital murder in connection with the November 2010 death. Bingham says he’s still looking into the parameters of a U.S. – Mexico extradition treaty which limits the use of the death penalty against defendants extradited to the United States from Mexico.

Lopez was arrested last week in Mexico after months on the run and brought back to Smith County to face charges. He was arraigned Monday on a capital murder charge and remains in the Smith County Jail on a bond of $2 million.

This article was written by Catherine Khalil and published by KYTX on August 2, 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 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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Suspect Arrested in Slayings of US Consulate Employees

August 1, 2011

Mexican authorities have arrested a former federal police officer accused of ordering 1,500 killings during a campaign of terrorism along the U.S.-Mexico border and masterminding the attack last year that killed a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband and the husband of another Consulate worker in Ciudad Juarez.

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, charged with 34 other Barrio Azteca gang members and associates of murder, racketeering, drug offenses, money laundering and obstruction of justice, was captured Friday in the northern city of Chihuahua, Mexican federal police announced Sunday.

The arrest was hailed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who sent 5,000 federal police to Ciudad Juarez in April 2010 to rein in bloodshed in one of the world’s most violent cities – located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

“It is the biggest strike in the Ciudad Juarez operation. Congratulations,” he wrote on his Twitter feed in Spanish.

Mexican police conducted their customary “perp walk” Sunday for reporters and their cameras in Mexico. Mr. Acosta was described as a short man with a cleft chin and thick eyebrows, who was limping while police took him into the room. The officers were masked, as also is customary.

Mr. Acosta, 33, nicknamed “El Diego,” also was among 10 Mexican nationals indicted in March by a federal grand jury in the western district of Texas in the March 13 killings in Mexico of U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton; her husband, Arthur Redelfs; and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a U.S. Consulate employee.

U.S. prosecutors want to try Mr. Acosta in that case, and Mexican authorities said they expect to receive an extradition request from the U.S. government.

Enriquez, 25, who worked at the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, and her husband, Redelfs, 30, were U.S. citizens. They were killed when Mexican drug gang members fired shots at their sport utility vehicle as they left a birthday party.

Redelfs was a 10-year veteran of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Enriquez was four months pregnant with the couple’s second child. Their 7-month-old daughter was found unharmed in the back seat.

That same day, Salcido, 37, a Mexican citizen whose wife also was an employee at the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, was killed when cartel members shot at his car at a separate location, also wounding his two young children. They had attended the same birthday party.

Ramon Pequeno, head of the Mexican Federal Police anti-drug unit, identified Mr. Acosta as the boss of La Linea, a gang of hit men and corrupt police officers who act as enforcers for the Juarez drug cartel.

Mr. Acosta was one of Mexico’s most-wanted criminals, with officials offering a reward of $1.3 million for his arrest.

Mr. Pequeno, who said Mr. Acosta’s arrest involved collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, accused Mr. Acosta of being connected to some of Juarez’s most notorious violence over the past two years, including the 2010 killing of a state prosecutor, a car bombing outside a police station and a massacre at a house party that killed 15 people – most of whom had no ties to organized crime.

U.S. law enforcement officials said the Barrio Azteca gang began in the late 1980s as a violent prison gang and expanded into a transnational criminal organization based primarily in West Texas.

The gang also operates in the border town of Juarez and throughout state and federal prisons in the United States and Mexico. They said the gang’s specialties include drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, intimidation, violence, threats of violence and murder.

Also named in the indictment were Eduardo Ravelo, Luis Mendez, Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, Jose Guadalupe Diaz Diaz, Martin Perez Marrufo, Luis Humberto Hernandez Celis, Miguel Angel Nevarez and Enrique Guajardo Lopez. They are charged with conspiracy to kill people in a foreign country, murder and murder in aid of racketeering.

The U.S. government has filed provisional warrants with Mexico for their arrests.Ravelo is one of the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted fugitives, and the FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to his arrest.

In addition to the consulate slayings, the indictment claims that in December 2006, a gang member fatally shot Jose Luis Oviedo in El Paso. In 2007, gang members are said to have kidnapped a man in El Paso and took him across the U.S.-Mexico border to Juarez. In March 2008, the gang is said to have ordered the slaying of gang member David Merez, who was killed that same month in Juarez.

The indictment also says that the gang caused two people to be fatally shot in Socorro, Texas, on July 2, 2009. In August 2010, the indictment says, gang members kidnapped the wife and parents of a gang member who they thought was cooperating with U.S. law enforcement and also killed the member’s stepdaughter.

This article was written by Jerry Seper and published by the Washington Times on July 31, 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 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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