Tag Archives: Justice Department

Rafael Caro Quintero, responsible for killing of DEA agent in 1985 Released

A Mexican court’s releasing of a drug lord who killed a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in the 1980s is sparking outrage this weekend among U.S. law enforcement officials. Rafael Caro Quintero, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for ordering the 1985 killing of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, was released earlier this week by a Mexican court that overturned the conviction, saying he had been improperly tried in a federal court for state crimes.

The Justice Department said it found the court’s decision “deeply troubling.” “The Department of Justice, and especially the Drug Enforcement Administration, is extremely disappointed with this result,” the agency said in a statement. The Justice Department also said it “has continued to make clear to Mexican authorities the continued interest of the United States in securing Caro Quintero’s extradition so that he might face justice in the United States.”

The DEA said separately it “will vigorously continue its efforts to ensure Caro Quintero faces charges in the United States for the crimes he committed.” Caro Quintero still faces charges in the United States. Meanwhile, the Mexican government said Friday it was reviewing what legal moves it might take in the case, according to The Wall Street Journal. The country’s attorney general’s office said in a statement it disagrees with the immediate liberation and the court should have handed over the case to the proper court for review. The office also said Caro Quintero’s charges were too serious to free him without exhausting all legal channels. In recent years, Mexico has stepped up extraditions of alleged drug kingpins to the U.S., usually after they have served some prison time in Mexico, according to The Journal.

The whereabouts of the 61-year-old Quintero is unclear, after serving 20 years and walking out of prison. The Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents in the United States said it was “outraged” by Caro Quintero’s early release and blamed corruption within Mexico’s justice system. “The release of this violent butcher is but another example of how good faith efforts by the U.S. to work with the Mexican government can be frustrated by those powerful dark forces that work in the shadows of the Mexican ‘justice’ system,” the organization said in a statement.

Mexican authorities did not release the full decision explaining the reasoning of the three-judge panel, in the western state of Jalisco, in setting free Caro Quintero. But some experts said the ruling may have been part of a broader push to rebalance the Mexican legal system in favor of defendants’ rights, from both law-enforcement officials and the independent judicial system.

Mexico’s Supreme Court has issued several recent rulings overturning cases while saying due process wasn’t followed. However, Mexican and current and former U.S. officials alike expressed deep skepticism that correct procedures were followed in the decision to free Caro Quintero. Caro Quintero was a founding member of one of Mexico’s earliest and biggest drug cartels. He helped establish a powerful cartel based in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa that later split into some of Mexico’s largest cartels, including the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels. But he wasn’t tried for drug trafficking, a federal crime in Mexico. Instead, Mexican federal prosecutors, under intense pressure from the United States, put together a case against him for Camarena’s kidnapping and killing, both state crimes. Mexican courts and prosecutors have long tolerated illicit evidence such as forced confessions and have frequently based cases on questionable testimony or hearsay.

Such practices have been banned by recent judicial reforms, but past cases, including those against high-level drug traffickers, are often rife with such legal violations. Mexico’s relations with Washington were badly damaged when Caro Quintero ordered Camarena kidnapped, tortured and killed, purportedly because he was angry about a raid on a 220-acre (89-hectare) marijuana plantation in central Mexico named “Rancho Bufalo” – Buffalo Ranch – that was seized by Mexican authorities at Camarena’s insistence.

Camarena was kidnapped in Guadalajara, a major drug trafficking center at the time. His body and that of his Mexican pilot, both showing signs of torture, were found a month later, buried in shallow graves. Caro Quintero was eventually hunted down in Costa Rica.

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Posted by on 08/11/2013 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels


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U.S. Federal Court convicts Gulf Cartel kingpin Aurelio Cano

On Tuesday, Aurelio Cano Flores, aka Yankee and Yeyo, a leading figure of the Gulf Cartel was found guilty of drug trafficking by a U.S. federal court

convicted in US Federal Court sentence to be announced!

convicted in US Federal Court sentence to be announced!

Aurelio Cano Flores, aka Yankee and Yeyo, a leading figure of the Gulf Cartel  the highest level in the U.S. condemned in the past 15 years, reported the Department of Justice.

Aurelio Cano, 40, was extradited from Mexico in August 2011, and was considered the “square head” of the border town of Los Guerra, in the state of Tamaulipas, in charge of the main entry route of drug Gulf Cartel into the United States.

As a Drug trafficker he began working for the cartel as a policeman in 2001, and soon went on to become one of the main operators of the organization, one of the most powerful and bloodthirsty of Mexico.

The Justice Department may file with the court telephone conversations and the testimony of other cartel members, the statement said.

The conviction of Aurelio Cano could result in a life sentence and will be announced by the federal court on May 13.


Posted by on 02/27/2013 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels


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Mexican Cartels and Arab banks linked to terrorist using HSBC for Money Laundering

Mexican Cartels and Arab banks are linked to terrorist groups in the center of a broad investigation into money laundering and suspicious flow the U.S. Senate announced yesterday, which would be involved British Executives of financial firm HSBC Holdings.

Mexican Cartels and Arab banks are linked to terrorist and money laundering

Mexican Cartels and Arab banks are linked to terrorist

The 400-page report resulting from the review of 1.4 million documents, said that a culture “contaminated” at HSBC Holdings allowing the bank to act as clients receiving financial dark backgrounds from places like Mexico, Iran, the Cayman Islands Saudi Arabia and Syria have also worked on transactions with countries facing international sanctions as North Korea, Cuba and Iran.

Executives at HSBC Holdings incurred in risky behavior in pursuit of profit, explained The Wall Street Journal. The New York newspaper quoted a Justice Department investigation of the U.S. government which asks whether these officials were complicit in hiding large amounts of money from drug cartels for the purpose of washing.

For Mexico, according to testimony from people familiar with the research cited by the WSJ, photographs taken by officers show “holds money in cash,” what prosecutors said is indicative of the high volume of transactions that had “light bulbs alarm.”

HSBC executives being investigated

They are designated as accomplices to hide large amounts of money from drug cartels in Mexico

British bank HSBC Holdings has been used by Mexican drug trafficking that seeks to introduce cash into the United States, according to a Senate report disclosed that country last night.

This information coincides with a Justice Department investigation that the U.S. government is investigating whether bank executives were complicit in hiding large amounts of money from drug cartels in Mexico for the purpose of washing, as well as having financial ties detected with international terrorist groups, according to the newspaper announced the Wall Street Journal .

The Justice Department made a probe to see if “bank officials were complicit in the drug cartels by allowing them to hide flows of large amounts of cash between the U.S. and Mexico,” the newspaper said.

According to testimony from people close to the investigation, show photographs taken by agents’ warehouses of cash, “which prosecutors said is indicative of the high volume of transactions that had” red flags start given the size of the operation HSBC in Mexico. “

As part of the work carried out by the Department of Justice, bank officials acknowledged flaws in its legitimate business of transferring cash from its customers, a kind of operation that no longer do.

The paper focused on the Department of Justice and HSBC have accelerated their search for an agreement to resolve the criminal investigation, which could be reached during the coming weeks.

A meeting with bank executives is scheduled for the U.S. Senate to discuss topics related to criminal investigation, which focused on “lax compliance with regulations” in its international units.

This failure may have been used for a “potential terrorist financing and drug cartels to launder illicit profits,” the note signed by Evan Perez.

In a message sent to employees in recent days, the executive director of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, acknowledged mistakes. “We failed to detect and control unacceptable” practices, he said.

The United States government had warned banks need to closely monitor their business of large amounts of cash into Mexico, particularly those relating to currency exchange houses.

Also added to the remarks of U.S. officials at Bank of America for allegedly laundering money for Mexican criminal organization Los Zetas , released last week by The Wall Street Journal .

Relation to terrorism

HSBC Holdings was also reported by customers receiving funding from dark backgrounds places like Mexico, Iran, Cayman Islands, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

For example, detailing the alleged vínculoscon a bank in Saudi Arabia related to terrorist organizations and act as financiers of Iranians who tried to evade EU sanctions, according to a report by the U.S. Senate, which published The New York Times.

“The culture at HSBC was contaminated for a long time,” said Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations United States Senate, a congressional watchdog.

The report said that a successful executive of HSBC suggested resume negotiations with the bank Al Rajhi’s whose founder has been for a long time benefactor of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. The New York newspaper noted that, ultimately, the American part of HSBC supplied with billions of dollars to the Saudi bank.

The newspaper outlined allegations of HSBC to cooperate in transactions with countries facing sanctions as North Korea, Cuba and Iran, and in some cases circumvent the laws in the pursuit of profit.

In Iran’s case found that the bank provided 25 000 questionable payments between 2001 and 2007 and that “in some cases executives of HSBC Holdings advised Iranian financial institutions on how to evade filters U.S. regulators.”

Accept mistakes and tighten security features

HSBC executives will appear before the U.S. Senate to clarify its position regarding the process followed in that country for alleged money laundering and financing of terrorism attributed to the bank.

The financial firm said in a statement: “We will recognize that in the past, our standards were not as expected by regulators and customers.”

With this, came forward to what will be their response to the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate of the United States.

“We apologize, we will recognize these errors, accounting of our actions and commit ourselves completely to fix what went wrong.

“We learned a lot from working with the Subcommittee and U.S. regulatory authorities in this case, and we recognize that our controls could and should be stronger and more effective to identify and confront unacceptable behavior,” he added.

HSBC will undertake concrete steps to strengthen internal controls, he said.

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Posted by on 07/18/2012 in Crime!, Money Laundering, Terroism


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Sergio Villarreal Barragan, aka El Grande faces drug trafficking charges in U.S.

The Attorney General’s Office said the alleged drug trafficker will be prosecuted for committing conspiracy

Sergio Villarreal Barragan, aka El Grande faces drug trafficking charges in U.S.

Sergio Villarreal Barragan, aka El Grande faces drug trafficking charges in U.S.

WASHINGTON, Sergio Villarreal Barragan, aka El Grande, which was charged today in a Texas court after his extradition from Mexico, faces four charges of selling drugs and possible confiscation of up to $ 100 million.

Villarreal Barragán, an alleged operator of the Beltran Leyva cartel in the American union, was accused by the U.S. government of conspiring to distribute, import and possess more than five kilograms of cocaine between January 2006 and September 2010.

The fourth count corresponds to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in the Southern District of Texas during the same period, according to the document obtained by Notimex.

The indictment was originally presented on November 23, 2010 in Laredo Division of the Court in Texas, but remained under seal until this year.

Federal prosecutors also issued a notice of criminal forfeiture of the defendant properties from the first three charges.

U.S. calls for the forfeiture of any property purchased from the profits of their drug trafficking activities, or any property for up to $ 100 million.

In this framework, the Department of Justice upheld the legal custody of Villarreal Barragán, after the initial versions of the accused was held by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“He was extradited to the United States last night and made his initial appearance in the Southern District of Texas this morning,” said the spokeswoman Justice Department, Alisa Finelli.

The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) said yesterday that the alleged drug trafficker will be prosecuted for committing conspiracy against health and money laundering.

According to research cited by the U.S. authorities PGR, the extradition was a member of a group dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering cartel Arturo Beltran Leyva between 2007 and 2010.

Villarreal Barragan participated in the transfer of millions of U.S. dollars, derived from the illegal sale of narcotics abroad, according to such investigations.

El Grande, ” remained in the Federal Social Rehabilitation Center 2 West, in Texas, since December 2011 when the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) had been met, the provisional arrest for extradition issued by a federal court.

The delivery operation took place on Tuesday at the International Airport of Mexico City, where the AFI gave Sergio Villarreal elements Marshals Service U.S..

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Posted by on 05/24/2012 in Crime!, Drugs


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The scandle; Fast and Furious gun running

English: Congressman Darrell Issa's Official 1...
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The Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives announced today that Patrick Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division of the Office of the Federal Attorney in Arizona, cited to appear in Congress on ‘Fast and Furious.’

Committee Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, said he was forced to quote the official mandatory, because he refused to testify voluntarily before the legislature on the operation of illegal movement of arms to Mexico.

‘In the course of our inquiry, the Committee has learned of the vast role played by the Office of the Attorney General of Arizona and you specifically approved the unacceptable tactics for Fast and Furious’, Issa wrote to Cunningham.

‘Senior officials of the Department of Justice Committee recently revealed that you communicated inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress’, topped Issa.

During previous hearings, the Oversight Committee had accused Obama administration officials to distort information about the failed operation, in the sense that he had never authorized the tactic of ‘make way’ assault weapons into Mexico.

Cunningham, Issa claimed to have maintained this position even after the tactics used in “Fast and Furious’ were repudiated by the very Attorney General Eric Holder.

The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear before the Committee for a confidential oral deposition on 24 January. As part of the investigation, Holder himself was summoned to appear, in this case publicly before Congress in February detailing his responsibility for the controversial operation. Holder will be questioned by lawmakers about the ‘poor administration’ who committed the Department of Justice in connection with the operation, according to the Committee.

The Committee will also seek to determine whether Justice Department officials lied deliberately in a letter to Congress on February 4, 2010 in which he denied the existence of the operation supervised smuggling guns into Mexico.

On December 8, before the Judiciary Committee, Holder publicly acknowledged that the Justice Department offered to Congress Inaccurate reporting on “Fast and Furious’ and accepted that he has the final responsibility for the ‘failed’ operation.

While Holder said these lapses were not intentional, but the result of errors in the initial verification of the information which formed the basis for sent letters to legislators, the official was lambasted by Republicans.

The operation ‘Fast and Furious’, which allowed the entry of more than two thousand guns into Mexico, is also the subject of a separate investigation of the inspector general of the Department of Justice.

Just last November the existence of another operation was announced, ‘Wide Receiver’, in which 350 weapons from 2006 to 2007 went to Mexico during the administration of former President George W.Bush



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