Alleged Drug Trafficker Extradited from Ecuador
Case Marks the First Successful Extradition of Alleged Sinaloa Cartel Member in Long-Running Investigation
SAN DIEGO – Brayan Alberto Rodriguez-Alcala, an alleged Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker, was extradited to the United States from Ecuador today.
On October 19, 2021, a federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of California returned an indictment charging Rodriguez-Alcala with participating in a long-running worldwide conspiracy to traffic substantial quantities of cocaine, from Central and South America to Mexico and ultimately into the United States, as well as laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds.
Rodriguez-Alcala was apprehended by Ecuadorian authorities in November 2021 while visiting Quito, and Ecuador granted the United States’ extradition request in January 2022. He arrived in San Diego this morning and made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal. He is scheduled for a motion hearing and trial setting before Judge Curiel on May 16, 2022, at 1:30 p.m.
“This extradition is another victory against the Sinaloa Cartel that will negatively impact their cocaine distribution operation,” said DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe. “The DEA is committed to holding anyone who profits from drug trafficking accountable, regardless of where they are located in the world.”
“Those who export dangerous narcotics to the United States and seek to evade justice will find no place to hide,” said U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “The Department of Justice appreciates the cooperation of the Ecuadorian authorities in this matter. By working with our law enforcement partners at home and around the world, we will continue to work to dismantle dangerous drug cartels.”
“This extradition sends a resounding message to drug traffickers around the world that the United States law enforcement community will vehemently pursue those who seek to harm Americans with their deadly drugs and violence,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz.
“The FBI is proud to work alongside our international and federal partners from HSI, DEA, and IRS to bring wanted persons back to the United States to face justice,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “This collaborative effort should send a message to fugitives worldwide – the United States government’s international reach has no limits. We will continue to use all investigative resources and international law enforcement partnerships to disrupt these transnational criminal organizations. The FBI is grateful for the hardline stance President Guillermo Lasso and the Government of Ecuador have taken against international fugitives.”
“The supply of narcotics illegally crossing our borders, entering our communities, and killing our citizens is completely fueled by greed,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner. “For decades, IRS Criminal Investigation has been committed to working with our law enforcement partners to trace and stem the flow of illicit money to dismantle the drug trade. Today’s extradition of Brayan Rodriguez-Alcala, who is charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, demonstrates that you cannot hide from justice.”
This case is part of a long-running investigation targeting the Valenzuela Transnational Criminal Organization, which is a significant component of the Sinaloa Cartel. To date, the investigation has resulted in the charging of 34 defendants and the seizure of approximately $3.8 million dollars in U.S. currency, 685 kilograms of cocaine, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, and 20,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition.
AGENCIES: United States Attorney’s Office; Homeland Security Investigations; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; United States Marshals Service; Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs; Department of Justice, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces; San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; San Diego Police Department; Border Crime Suppression Team.