Ranking Guatemalan Police Officers Arrested
For Conspiracy To Import Cocaine Into The United States
D.C.) + Three high-level members of the Guatemalan Anti-Narcotics
Police (Servicio de Analisis e Informaction Antinarcoticos, or SAIA)
have been arrested on charges of conspiring to import and distribute
cocaine in the United States, Assistant Attorney General Alice S.
Fisher of the Criminal Division and Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) Administrator Karen Tandy announced today.
The three senior SAIA officials are charged in an indictment returned
in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to import cocaine into
the United States, and with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, intending
that it would be imported into the United States., in violation of
21 U.S.C. 959, 960 and 963. The three officials were arrested in
the United States Tuesday after arriving in the country from Guatemala.
The three defendants named in the indictment are Adan Castillo Lopez,
a/k/a “Adan Castillo Aguilar,” Jorge Aguilar Garcia,
and Rubilio Orlando Palacios. Castillo is Chief of the SAIA and the
highest ranking anti-narcotics officer in Guatemala. Aguilar is the
second in command at SAIA. Orlando is also a member of the same special
police force and he was responsible for security sweeps at Santo
Tomas, a port on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast.
“Those in law enforcement who would sell their badges to aid
in the illegal shipment of narcotics to the United States need to know
that we are aggressively investigating their activities,” said
Assistant Attorney General Fisher. “International borders will
not stop our pursuit + U.S. law can be brought to bear against them,
no matter where they operate.”
More than corrupting the public trust, these Guatemalan Police Officials
have been Trojan horses for the very addiction and devastation that
they were entrusted to prevent,” said DEA Administrator Tandy. “In
the battle against drugs, their actions are abhorrent + giving aid
to an enemy they had sworn to fight against. Finally, they will face
the same justice they had long ago abandoned.”
The indictment and arrests are the result of a four-month long investigation
by DEA agents in the United States and Central America into activities
of the three defendants. The defendants are scheduled to appear before
a magistrate judge at U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia
at 1:45 p.m. ET today.
If convicted of the charged offenses, the defendants face a mandatory
minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The investigation that led to the arrests was conducted by the DEA,
working with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. The
Government of Guatemala assisted in the investigation.
An indictment contains only allegations. All defendants are presumed
innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.