Sunday, February 8, 2015

Guadalajara's Drug Cartel Pacific Queen Freed From Mexican Prison

Avila Betran's prison term revoked by Mexican judge.

By H. Nelson Goodson 
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

February 8, 2015

Mexico, D.F. - Mexican federal authorities confirmed that Sandra Avila Beltran, 54, aka, the "Pacific Queen" walked out of the Rincón, de Nayarit prison number 4 at about 10:05 p.m. on Saturday. Her five year sentence and 1,000 days of prison were revoked by a judge on Thursday on appeal that Avila Beltran was convicted of the same crime, which she had already served a prison sentence in the U.S. Avila Beltran was also convicted in Mexico for money laundering.
Avila Beltran's attorney Jorge Alfonso Espino Santillán confirmed that she is out of prison.
Avila Beltran was extradited to the U.S. in 2012 and was facing prison for drug trafficking. She pled guilty to a plea agreement with federal prosecutors for harbouring her former boyfriend, Juan Diego Espinoza Ramirez,  aka, "El Tigre" a Colombian convicted drug dealer associated with the Sinaloa Cartel. A federal judge in Miami declared that she had served her time and was then extradited to Mexico where she was convicted for money laundering, but had served a similar conviction after she was arrested in 2007 in Mexico.
Avila Beltran was considered one of the main financial administrators for the Guadalajara Cartel, which was founded by her uncle Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo.
Her other uncle Rafael Caro Quintero, 59, and Felix Gallardo trained Avila Beltran as a financial administrator for the Guadalajara Cartel, that later split up into the Sinaloa and Tijuana Cartels. Caro Quintero walked out of prison a free man after his sentence was revoked on appeal in August 2013 after just serving 28 years of a 40 year sentence. Gallardo and Caro Quintero were serving 40 years in prison for the murder of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, 37, and his Mexican national pilot, Alfredo Zavala Avela in Guadalajara on February 7, 1985. Both Camarena and his pilot showed signs of torture before being killed and were buried in a shallow grave.
Camarena was killed for helping to dismantle the Guadalajara's Cartel Buffalo Ranch operation of more than $10B in marijuana cultivation and drug manufacturing in Jalisco.
In November 2013, a federal Mexican judge panel of four on a 3-1 voted to revoke Caro Quintero's appeal to be release and issued a warrant for his arrest. In January 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court confirmed Caro Quintero's revocation of his early release. 
The U.S. has also issue a $5M reward for information leading to his arrest. Caro Quintero must serve his 40 year sentence, according to the Mexican federal Supreme Court decision. A lower court in Jalisco had released Caro Quintero in August of 2013 stating that he should have been convicted by a state court instead of a federal court for the murder of Camarena and his pilot. The federal authorities were informed of Caro Quintero's release until 8 hours later and hasn't been seen since his early release. Federal authorities believed Caro Quintero bought his early release from prison.
Felix Gallardo, 67, has filed for early release due to medical and deteriorating health that will eventually lead to his death. Gallardo's attorney claims, his client is suffering from memory loss, ulcers, hernia and cataract. Gallardo was transferred to a minimum security prison on January 31 and his humanitarian medical appeal for a release hearing is set for March 2, according to federal Mexican authorities.
Elderly prison inmates are released early due to heath and medical complications and are not usually imprison for crimes they commit in Mexico.

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