Jesús Peña González, 'El 20', was captured and sentenced, then he escaped and is granted his freedom

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Jesús Peña González, 'El 20', was captured and sentenced, then he escaped and is granted his freedom


Jesús Peña González, 'El 20', was captured and sentenced, then he escaped and is granted his freedom

Even though the Attorney General considers Jesús Peña González a high-ranking narcotrafficker in the Sinaloa Cartel, the criminal proceedings against him are a history of slip-ups.

Documents from the District Court and the Collegiate Court show evidence of illegal actions by the Secretary of the Navy and the PGR, favoring 'el 20', alleged chief of security for Ismael 'el Mayo' Zambada, and creator of 'Los Ántrax' along with José Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa, 'el Chino Ántrax'.

He escaped from the Culiacán penitentiary last March and El Compa Peña beat the PGR in the Supreme Court of Justice with the ratification of an amparo that annuls the conviction and sentence.

Last February, the judge declared his automatic release on three felonies, but he remained in prison because he faced another criminal offense against health, until he escaped from prison in March.

In April 2016, the judge had already acquitted him of the crimes the PGR accused him of, but the prosecution appealed and managed to have a unitary court revoke the decision and issue a conviction; Then 'El 20' challenged and a collegiate court annulled the sentence, which last month the court ratified.

The judges ruled that in this case there was a corrupting effect in the criminal process, because there were constitutional violations.

According to the amparo, he was detained without an order of apprehension order, and detained within a domicile to which they entered without a warrant, and he was unjustly held for nearly 24 hours and was tortured.

The failures of the PGR in court started in the beginning in 2014 because when the judge assigned to the case ordered his release for the organized crime charges because there was insufficient evidence.

The third district judge subjected him to criminal prosecution for health offenses,  use of exclusive firearms [exclusive to the military] and possession of cartridges.

Peña González was captured on 20 February 2014 by elements of the Secretary of the Navy in a house located in Colonia Villa del Real, in Culiaán.

A day later he was made available to the Attorney General specializing in organized crime research in Mexico City.

On April 7th, 2016, the judge issued an acquittal because criminal responsibility was not proven, along with the violation of his human rights, illegally obtained evidence, absence of flagrant [acts] in his capture, and prolonged and unjustified detention as well as torture, was demonstrated.

The PGR challenged the resolution and the third unitary Tribunal returned an order for reapprehension.

On July 29, 2016, the Tribunal quashed the acquittal and declared him criminally responsible for the offenses against the health in the form of possession of narcotics called cocaine and marijuana for purposes of trade, carrying of a firearm for exclusive use of the army and possession of cartridges for exclusive use [of the army].

The sentence was 13 years eight months in prison and a fine of 14,348 pesos.

'El 20's' defense appealed the sentence in the collegiate court and managed to have the sentence overeturned.

The Supreme Court ratified the annulment of the sentence, after 'El 20' had already escaped.

According to the amparo that was issued, among the irregularities is that he was arrested in the early morning of February 20, 2014 and made available to agents of the Public Ministry of the Federation 24 hours later.

The PGR justified the delay because of the transfer that had to be made to Mexico  City by orders from higher up, But the judge noted that in Culiacán there are competent authorities to consign it.

The prosecutor of the nation, seated in front of the judge, also did not explain who and why had ordered the transfer and how a higher order is above a constitutional human right that is paramount.

The official version indicates that elements of the navy patrolled and saw that an individual with a firearm tucked in his waistband got out of a Jeep Rubicon and reached for it.

When they searched him they found a 9mm pistol and in the vehicle they found three two-way radios, three cell phones, a .380 pistol, ten useful cartridges and a magazine with 34 .380 rounds, a 9mm pistol, a grenade launcher tube, a fragmentation grenade, and a 40mm grenade.

They also spotted three cucumbers and three plastic bananas filled with cocaine.

The judge stated that the official version did not hold up, and corroborated the version of 'El 20', backed by witnesses and evidence.

Peña González narrated that he was in his sister's house when the Marines arrived and knocked on the door, so his nephew opened it and they went to the room where he was and after surrendering they began to hit him.

Themarines told him that he had a warrant of apprehension and when he asked what it was for, they responded that it was because of a corrido.

His nephew was also tied up and beaten in the house while they were required him to say where the safe houses were and where they hid weapons and drugs.

After about an hour they took them out and drove them to another house where they were tortured and from there they took 'el 20' to the airport to take him to Mexico City.

The Marines said that when they transported him in the patrol he had thrown himself around and had suffered blows, but the experts determined that he presented traumatic injuries related to acts of torture.

"The foregoing makes it possible to assert that wrongfulness in detention was consummated from the moment the defendant was arbitrarily detained," "because the actions of the apprehension agents struggle with respect for fundamental rights and, as a result, all the evidence obtained from that moment is null," said the judge.

"The seized items, which as are firearms, magazines, cartridges and grenades which the defendant supposedly carried," even with respect to the accusation of possession of thnarcotics, they would not have existed the defendant hadn't been arrested nor the illegal intrusion to the domicile of his sister where it was, the consequence is that they lack any value.

When the PGR appealed the acquittal, the public prosecutor only took time to justify the delay in making him available and said nothing about breaking into the dwelling that distorted the idea that he was caught in flagrante, nor did they try to justify the documented torture, the collegiate court established.

The court decided to grant an amparo to Peña González and rescinded the sentence for the charges that the judge ordered his release for in February.

'El 20' remained in prison because he faced another criminal charge, but in March he fled the penitentiary of Culiacán along with Juan José Esparragoza Monzón, 'el Negro'; Rafael Félix Núñez, el Changuito Ántrax; Alfonso Limón Sánchez, el Limón; y Francisco Javier Rosales Zazueta, el Chimal.

Last month, the ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice ratified the amparo that vacates the sentence.
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