Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Court refuses bond for ex-Mexican security official charged with bribery linked to drug cartel

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A U.S. judge has ordered a former Mexican government official responsible for public security to remain held without bond on charges he accepted millions of dollars in bribes to help the Sinaloa drug cartel once run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman operate with “impunity.”

Genaro Garcia Luna, 51, waived his right to a detention hearing in Dallas federal court, in an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Horan, according to court records.

The defendant is expected to be transferred to Brooklyn, New York, where federal prosecutors charged him with drug trafficking conspiracy and making false statements.

Garcia Luna, who lived in Florida before his arrest, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

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Rose Romero, a lawyer for Garcia Luna, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Garcia Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005 and was secretary of public security from 2006 to 2012.

Prosecutors have said the Sinaloa cartel bribed Garcia Luna throughout his time in government to ensure safe passage for its drugs, and obtain information about rival cartels and Mexican probes into its activities.

Guzman was sentenced to life in prison without parole and moved to a high-security facility in Colorado after being convicted of smuggling tons of drugs to the United States over a decades-long career.

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