A top Mexican official who once helped his country tackle the growing problem of drug gangs has now been convicted of himself helping drug cartels move weight across south of the border.
Raw Story is reporting that on Tuesday (February 21), the former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico, Garcia Luna, was found guilty in a Brooklyn federal court of taking bribes from drug traffickers who he was supposed to be taking off the streets in exchange for protection and information on rivals and authorities. Prosecutors argued that Luna took millions of dollars in bribes from El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel from 2006-2012 when he was tasked to be taking down the now-infamous drug cartel. Luna now faces at least 20 years in prison for his transgression.
“Garcia Luna, who once stood at the pinnacle of law enforcement in Mexico, will now live the rest of his days having been revealed as a traitor to his country and to the honest members of law enforcement who risked their lives to dismantle drug cartels,” said US prosecutor Breon Peace, welcoming the verdict.
A spokesperson for the current Mexican government, which has accused Garcia Luna of stealing more than $200 million of public funds and has demanded his extradition, said in a tweet that “justice has arrived.”
Prosecutors argued that Garcia Luna, who held high-ranking security positions in Mexico from 2001 until 2012, was the cartel’s “partner in crime.”
We hope Luna enjoyed that money while he could because we doubt anyone’s going to be trying to break him out of prison like his former employer, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Unfortunately for Luna, nine of the 26 people who testified against him were former drug traffickers from Mexico who cooperated with U.S. prosecutors in hopes of getting leniency in their own upcoming trials.
They included former several high-level cartel bosses, including Jesus “Rey” Zambada, Sergio Villarreal and Oscar “Lobo” Valencia.
They claimed to have paid millions of dollars to Garcia Luna collectively, and through Arturo Beltran Leyva, who ran his own drug cartel and served as a go-between with Garcia Luna, known as a “supercop,” in exchange for protection.
Nothing like snitching on law enforcement to help yourself get out of a sticky situation.
Garcia Luna was eventually arrested in Texas in December 2019 and charged with five counts including cocaine trafficking conspiracy and making false statements to authorities. His wife and two children were in court when his guilty verdict was announced.
You have to wonder if he’ll end up in the same prison as El Chapo. Just sayin.’
Photo: YUKI IWAMURA / Getty
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