Nov. 18 (UPI) — The US authorities has agreed to drop its drug trafficking and cash laundering case in opposition to Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, a former Mexican minister of protection who was arrested final month in California, and return him to Mexico the place he can be investigated for potential prosecution, the 2 nations stated in a joint assertion.
U.S. Legal professional Common William Barr along with his Mexican counterpart, Alejandro Gertz Manero, made the announcement Tuesday night, stating all U.S. costs in opposition to Cienfuegos have been dismissed “in order that he could also be investigated and, if acceptable, charged beneath Mexican legislation.”
Cienfuegos, 72, was arrested final month at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport on three counts of conspiracy to fabricate and distributed heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana and one rely of cash laundering that had been filed beneath seal within the U.S. District Court docket Jap District of New York in August of final yr.
A courtroom submitting after his arrest arguing for the previous protection minister’s everlasting detention as he posed a flight danger accused him of abusing his place to help the H-2 Cartel, which it describes as “an especially violent” Mexican drug gang, to visitors hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the USA.
“In change for bribe funds, he permitted the H-2 Cartel — a cartel that routinely engaged in wholesale violence, together with torture and homicide — to function with impunity in Mexico,” the courtroom submitting stated.
In accordance with a letter filed Monday asking the courtroom to dismiss the fees in opposition to Cienfuegos, the Mexican authorities was unaware of the sealed indictment in opposition to its former protection minister.
After his arrest, Mexico entered negotiations with the USA for his return because it had initiated its personal investigation, it stated.
Seth D. DuCharme, appearing U.S. lawyer for the jap district of New York, wrote within the letter that proof within the U.S. case in opposition to Cienfuegos “is robust” however that they ask for the fees to be dismissed “as a matter of international coverage and in recognition of the sturdy legislation enforcement partnership between Mexico and the USA, and within the pursuits of demonstrating our united entrance in opposition to all types of criminality.”
Cienfuegos was Mexico’s minister of protection from 2012 to 2018 beneath former former President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The U.S. Justice Division stated it has shared its proof with Mexico at its request.
“Our two nations stay dedicated to cooperation on this matter, in addition to all our bilateral legislation enforcement cooperation,” the 2 nations stated within the assertion. “As the choice right now displays, we’re stronger after we work collectively and respect the sovereignty of our nations and their establishments.”