Officials and the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel: the Mexicans who have been tried in the Brooklyn Court
The judgment against Genaro Garcia Luna in the United States, which began three years after his arrest in Dallas, brought to mind the judicial process that culminated in Joaquín’s life imprisonment sentence. El Chapo Guzman.
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The defense of the former Secretary of Public Security obtained two apparent “victories” days before the hearings begin
The references to the so-called “trial of the century” against the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel They are due to the fact that both cases are closely related. In addition, the former Secretary of Public Security faces justice in the same court in which Guzmán Loera was sentenced: the Eastern District Court of New York, also known as the brooklyn court.
However, the “super policeman” of the six-year term of Felipe Calderón and El Chapo They have not been the only high-profile Mexicans who have appeared in said court. In recent years, the walls of said building have witnessed at least two other cases also related to organized crime and corruption.
In the opinion of the journalist Anabel Hernández, the overconfidence of Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedahead of the Ministry of National Defense (sedena) during the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto, was the key factor for the US authorities to initiate proceedings against him.
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The government of Mexico had the first news of the organization until 2003, after members of the Mexican army located two tons of cocaine in Aguascalientes and one and a half tons of marijuana in Veracruz.
The conversations that he supposedly maintained freely from his cell phone with members of the H-2 Cartel, emanating from the Beltrán Leyva, were intercepted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA in English). In them, the closeness between the former military command and characters such as Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez, the H2leader of the organization.
Cienfuegos was arrested on October 15, 2020 at the Los Angeles Airport, California, for crimes against health and money laundering. “The defendant abused that public position to help the H-2 Cartel, an extremely violent Mexican drug trafficking organization, traffic thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana into the United States, including New York City.” established the imputation in the file No. 19-366 (CBA)(EDNY).
three weeks later, November 5the former Secretary of Defense appeared in Brooklyn Court and pleaded “not guilty” before the four charges that were filed against him: three for conspiracy to manufacture, import and distribute drugs, in addition to one for money laundering.
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The magistrate has also been part of other important judicial processes. An example of this is the conviction of a member of Al Qaeda who had participated in a terrorist attack
Days later, the charges against Cienfuegos were dismissed and, finally, in January 2021, the former military command was exonerated in Mexico by the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR).
Cienfuegos Zepeda was not the only Mexican official accused of alleged ties to the H-2 Cartel. In Nayarit, during his years as attorney general, Édgar Veytia Cambero, nicknamed as The devilreceived monthly bribes in exchange for his protection for the criminal group.
The ex-prosecutor of justice from Nayarit he was arrested in March 2017 when trying to cross into San Diego, California, from Tijuana. The investigations led by the US government established that, under the protection of Veytia, the H-2 Cartel distributed to that country some 500 kilograms of heroin, 100 of cocaine, 200 of methamphetamine and up to three tons of marijuana on a monthly basis.
Among his operations, it was also determined that Édgar Veytia took advantage of his position within the government to obstruct the investigations and even to orchestrate the illegal release of some defendants.
Some reports indicate that, after the death of Patron Sanchez, the H2at the hands of a machine gun from the Special Forces in February 2017, the Nayarit plaza was left free for the operations of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), with whom Veytia Cambero would also have aligned himself.
A month after his arrest, he was transferred to New York to face drug charges against him. In January 2019, in Brooklyn Court, pleaded guilty for being part of an international conspiracy to produce and distribute the aforementioned narcotics.
In that same court, on September 26, He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, plus five years of supervised release. The sentence was in charge of the district judge Carol Bagley Amon, who also established a fine of one million dollars for the crimes in which she incurred.
It should be specified that Veytia Cambero appears on the list of possible witnesses who could testify against Genaro García Luna.
By the time Édgar Veytia was sentenced, his lawyer already had experience in cases related to organized crime and corruption. Jeffrey LichtmannIn addition to defending the former Nayarit prosecutor, he was part of the exclusive team of legal defenders of Joaquin Archivaldo El Chapo Guzman Loera during the so-called “trial of the century”.
In order to expedite the process against him, the US government withdrew seven criminal charges and judged the shorty “only” times ten. Among them, the production and distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine, as well as their participation (material or intellectual) in the murder of at least 26 people.
The most “serious” accusation of all was related to his leadership at the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, an organization that under his mandate would have generated close to 14 billion dollarsAccording to the US Attorney’s Office.
He was arrested for the third time on January 8, 2016 and handed over to the US authorities on January 19 of the following year. His trial began on November 13, 2018 and, after three months, on February 12, 2019. was found guilty of all charges indicted by a federal jury in New York.
July 17, 2019 was labeled by many as the “worst day” in the life of one of the once most powerful criminals. On that date, Judge Brian Cogan handed down the sentence to life imprisonment plus 30 years against the shorty Guzman.
It was in room 8D of the Brooklyn Federal Court that the capo, whose criminal career began in the eighties, delivered his last public statements before being sent for life to the ADX Florence prison in Colorado.
“The judge denied me a fair trial when the whole world was watching,” said the Badiraguato native. After the appearance of more than 50 witnesses, including ex-associates of the capo, friends and even a former lover, the Prosecutor’s Office asked that it be recognized “that the defendant was a ruthless and bloodthirsty leader of the Sinaloa Cartel”.
Genaro García Luna was entrusted to lead the security strategy of Felipe Calderón, known as the “drug war”, started in December 2006. However, it is presumed that for those dates the “super cop” already had a close relationship with the drug cartels.
According to the indictments issued by the US Department of Justice, the former Secretary of Public Safety would have collaborated with the Sinaloa Cartel to allow gigantic drug shipments to the neighboring country between 2001 and 2012.
Conspiracy for the international distribution of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, cocaine, conspiracy to import [a Estados Unidos] cocaine and issuance of false testimony are the charges against García Luna and for which he will be called to testify January 23 of the current year.
His name resounded in the Brooklyn Court, where he will be tried, from the trial of the shorty Guzman, well Jesus Reynaldo The king zambada garciabrother of May Zambada, confessed that García Luna would have received millions of dollars in bribes of the CDS in exchange for information and protection.
The process against García Luna formally began on January 9, 2023. That day the profiles of almost 400 candidates to integrate the jury arrived at the Court. Almost two weeks later, on the 19th, the list of 12 people who will make up the collegiate body was defined.
There will be seven women and five men who will decide, at the end of the eight weeks of arguments, if he is guilty or innocent.