Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gulf Cartel Kingpin Sentenced To 25 Years In Federal Prison

Top photo: Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, 42,
Bottom photo: Jorge Gustavo Arévalo Kessler, 43.

Judge seals some documents to protect those involved in the case, and Kessler, a Mexican Air pilot extradited to the U.S. for cocaine trafficking

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 26, 2010

Houston -On Friday, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, 42, Drug Lord for the Gulf Cartel was sentenced to 25 years in a federal prison by Hilda G. Tagle, federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Judge Tagle sentenced Gullén after pleading guilty to five counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, and attempted assault and murder of federal authorities during a closed court proceeding, which was closed to the public. Tagle sealed all documents pertaining to Gullén's confession and deal he made, for his cooperation with federal authorities.
Gullén before being sentenced apologized to his family, the government of Mexico, and the U.S. government for his wrongdoing and expressed remorse. Only two members of his family were present during the highly secured court proceedings.
The Houston Chronicle had tried to get information about the governments deal with Gullén, but Tagle in an unusual move sealed parts to the plea agreement documents to protect the Gulf Cartel drug lord, and people he might have exposed, and those involved in the case.
Gullén was fined $100,000 dollars and forfeited $50 million in assets, according to court transcripts. The Gulf Cartel is attributed to importing and distributing tons of cocaine in Southern Texas.
In 2007, Gullén was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón allowed extraditions of drug kingpins and Mexican leaders of criminal organizations to face justice in the U.S. When Mexican drug lords get convicted in the U.S., they are most likely to get stiff sentences for their crimes committed against the U.S. government.
Last Wednesday, Jorge Gustavo Arévalo Kessler, 43, was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico to face money laundering, and cocaine trafficing federal charges in Texas. Kessler originally from Heidelberg, Germany, but living in Mexico transported tons of cocaine from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and eventually ending up in the U.S.
The indictment states, Kessler between Dec. 2002 to June 2003 transported tons of cocaine by private plane and a Boeing 727, transported cash abroad, and as a high ranking member of a Mexican drug cartel, he directed where the money would be deposited to various bank accounts.
Kessler was arrested by Mexican federal authorities on April 7, 2008 in Mexico City. He worked for the criminal organization headed by Antonio Aguilar (real name Pedro Antonio Bermúdez Suazo), aka "El Arquitecto," or "El Jefe" in Mexico.
Kessler was extradited to the U.S. on Feb. 24, 2010 by the law enforcement coordination efforts between the U.S. Marshals Service, the Ministry Federal Police, and Mexican INTERPOL with the Attorney's General Office (PGR).  

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