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News Release [print-friendly page]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2007

Statement of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
on Extradition of 15 Mexican Drug Traffickers and Other Criminals

"The actions overnight by the Mexican government are unprecedented in their scope and importance. Never before has the United States received from Mexico such a large number of major drug defendants and other criminals for prosecution in this country, including Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the accused chief of the notorious Gulf Cartel. We recognize the bold stance of President Felipe Calderon and his government in targeting the drug-related violence and corruption that affects both our nations."

A listing of the individuals that the Mexican government extradited to the United States overnight is below.

  1. Osiel (Oziel) Cardenas Guillen was indicted in the Southern District of Texas on charges of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and the distribution of large quantities of marijuana, and, further, with assaulting and threatening to murder an FBI agent, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, and a local sheriff’s deputy who was working under the direction of the U.S. Customs Service (now called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Cardenas is the leader of the notorious Gulf Cartel, headquartered in Matamoros, Mexico, and responsible for much of the hideous “narco-violence” at the Southwest border.

  2. Ismael Higuera Guerrero, and

  3. Gilberto Higuera Guerrero were indicted in the Southern District of California as co-defendants in the Arellano-Felix drug cartel case, for racketeering (RICO), drug trafficking and money laundering offenses. According to the indictment, Ismael served as a chief lieutenant and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the cartel in Mexico, including the receipt of large shipments of cocaine and marijuana followed by the importation of those shipments into the U.S., and the collection of drug proceeds. Gilberto, according to the indictment, supervised the drug trafficking from Mexicali, Mexico, receiving shipments from Tijuana, Mexico, and elsewhere, importing those shipments into the U.S, and using kidnapping, torture, and murder to enforce the cartel’s work.

  4. Consuelo Carreto Valencia was indicted in the Eastern District of New York in a trafficking in persons conspiracy, namely to smuggle Mexican women into the U.S. to engage in prostitution in New York City and elsewhere. The women were compelled by the use of physical violence, sexual assault, threats of harm and deception to engage in prostitution. The defendant is charged with conspiring to engage in sex trafficking, travel in aid of prostitution (the Mann Act), sex trafficking, forced labor, conspiring to import aliens for immoral purposes, and alien smuggling among other offenses.

  5. Hector Palma Salazar was indicted in the Southern District of California in 1995 on charges of conspiring to distribute large quantities of cocaine.

  6. Gilberto Salinas Doria was indicted in the Southern District of New York, along with the former Governor of the State of Quintana Roo in Mexico, with conspiring to import and conspiring to distribute more than 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. for delivery to New York City.

  7. Jose Alberto Marquez Esqueda was indicted in the Southern District of California as part of the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization, in conspiracies to import and distribute marijuana and cocaine. Jose Alberto “Bat” Marquez worked as an enforcer, bodyguard, and caretaker of the drug “stash” houses for the organization, according to the indictment.

  8. Gracielo Gardea Carrasco was indicted along with 31 others in the Los Tres de la Sierra Organization, in the Western District of Texas, with the conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana and the importation and distribution of marijuana in the U.S. As alleged in the indictment, Gracielo Gardea Carrasco was primarily responsible for overseeing the importation and distribution of marijuana from Chihuahua, Mexico into Texas.

  9. Miguel Angel Arriola Marquez was indicted in the District of Colorado with a conspiracy to import cocaine and a conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, as well as with conspiring to launder millions of dollars which represented drug proceeds.

  10. Alicia Gonzalez Cisneros was indicted in the Southern District of Texas (McAllen) on charges of conspiring to possess more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and the possession with the intent to distribute approximately 1,375 kilograms of marijuana.

  11. Saul Saucedo Chaides was indicted in the District of Colorado with conspiracy to distribute narcotics, a conspiracy to import narcotics, and with narcotics-related money laundering.

  12. Richard Matt is sought by the State of New York, town of North Tonawanda, for entering a home, kidnapping, then beating the occupant to death.

  13. Carlos Villanueva Garcia was charged in a criminal information in the state of Washington (Franklin County) with murder in the second degree, namely by stabbing his landlord and thereby causing his death.

  14. Efrain Gonzalez Cisneros was indicted in the Southern District of Texas (Corpus Christi) on charge of conspiracy with the intent to distribute large quantities of marijuana and the possession with intent to distribute large quantities of marijuana in 1999 and 2000.

  15. Juan Ramon Morales Rodriguez was charged by the State of Texas (Ector County) with aggravated kidnapping of two children and the sexual assault of one of these children.

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