Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mexican Federal Judge Cited Double Jeopardy To Prevent Female Druglord Extradition To The U.S.

Sandra Ávila-Beltrán

U.S. government lost second attempt to extradite female druglord from Mexico.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 12, 2012

Mexico City - On Thursday, Mexican federal Judge Jesus Chavez ruled that Sandra Ávila-Beltrán, aka, "La Reina del Pacifico" an alleged druglord can't be extradited to the U.S. due to double jeopardy. Ávila-Beltrán was acquitted in Mexico in December 2010 of charges for transportng and attempting to smuggling more than 9 tons of cocaine on December 2001 into the U.S. from Mexico. An appeals court in Mexico upheld Ávila-Beltrán's acquittal in August of last year.
The U.S. District Court of Southern Florida indicted Ávila-Beltrán for the same charges in 2004. On November 2007, she was indicted in the U.S. for two counts of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, stemming from the 2001 drug bust of a Mexican vessel "MACEL" carrying more than 9 tons of cocaine near the port of Manzanillo.
Ávila-Beltrán allegedly controlled major smuggling and trafficking operations between Colombian and Mexican criminal organizations. In 2007, she was taken into custody at a Cafe in Mexico City.
Mexican federal Judge Chavez said in his ruling, that most likely Ávila-Beltrán would be tried for the same charges in the U.S. she had been aquitted in Mexico. Chavez citing the Mexican Constitution, which prevents a Mexican national from being prosecuted in another country for the same crime prosecuted in Mexico, he denied an extradition request from the U.S.
Another Mexican federal Judge had previously denied a first request to extradite Ávila-Beltrán to the U.S.
Ávila-Beltrán is still being held in a prison at Tepic, Nayarit pending Mexican federal charges for money laundering. She is claiming that most of the money generated by her came from renting properties and selling clothes at businesses, which she owns.
She is the niece of Miquel Angel Felix Gallardo, aka, "El Padrino" who is serving a 40-year prison sentence in Mexico for drug smuggling, trafficking and for his connection to the February 7, 1985 homicide of U.S. DEA Agent Enrique Camarena-Salazar, 37, aka, "KiKe" in Jalisco. Gallardo was one of the main partners of the druglord Rafael Caro Quintero, aka, "El Numero Uno." Quintero, Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo and Juan José Esparragoza Moreno founded the Guadalajara and Sonora Cartels in 1984.
Camarena-Salazar based in Guadalajara was kidnapped along with his pilot, Alfredo Zavala who were later brutally tortured and then killed. Agent Camarena-Salazar was instrumental in striking a blow at the Quintero criminal organization.
In November 1984, Mexican federal police raided the "El Búfalo" a Quintero ranch in Chihuahua and burned 10 tons of marijuana plants costing Quintero more than $160 million U.S. dollars in loses. In retalliation, he had Camarena-Salazar killed.

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