Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

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Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

K_Mennem
by Duncan Tucker for The Guadalajara Reporter

Two teenage students from Guadalajara remain in prison in Mazatlan more than eight months after being arrested for drug trafficking, due to a serious error by U.S. authorities that has since been compounded by Mexican bureaucracy.

Sergio Alejandro Torres Duarte, 18, and Julio Cesar Moreno Guzman, 19, were detained at a police checkpoint in Esquinapa, Sinaloa on November 15, 2012, when officers found a package containing 914 grams of cocaine stashed in a secret compartment of their vehicle.

The pair, a month away from finishing their studies at the TecMilenio Preparatoria in Guadalajara, were on their way to a sporting event in Mazatlan in a car belonging to Torres’ father, also named Sergio Torres. Both denied any knowledge of where the drugs had come from.

Torres senior had purchased the blue 2004 Toyota Sienna on February 8, 2012, in an online auction of vehicles seized by U.S. authorities. By June 2012 he had legally imported the vehicle and had it registered with local plates.

Upon learning that his son had been arrested and imprisoned in Mazatlan, Torres began to investigate the vehicle’s origins. Records from The Monitor newspaper in Texas revealed that it had been seized in 2010, with five kilos of cocaine hidden inside.

Prosecutors in Mazatlan contacted the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency  in order to verify whether the drugs matched those found in Esquinapa. The results came back positive, with both batches of cocaine being 91-percent pure and sealed in black wrapping marked “good.” The CBP admitted having either failed to detect the last package or forgotten to remove it.

Despite this evidence, the Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) in Sinaloa sent another request to the United States asking for details of the machine used to test the cocaine, plus a sample from each of the packages seized in Texas. With Torres and Moreno having already spent over eight months in jail, the U.S. government eventually responded that this would not be possible because the evidence had already been destroyed.

Undeterred, the PGJE then solicited new forensic evidence from the United States, a request which could delay the legal process by over six months and is unlikely to yield results given the destruction of the evidence.

Exasperated by this slow process and the absence of justice, the boys’ families – who have been taking it in turn to visit them each weekend at a cost of 7,000 pesos per trip – have begun a media campaign to raise awareness of the case and are considering filing a complaint against the U.S. government through the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

Over 1,600 people have joined a Facebook group entitled “Por Un Error de USA” in support of Torres and Moreno, while Twitter users have been highlighting their plight with the hashtags #PorUnErrordeUSA and #SergioYJulioInocentes. Speaking to Spanish-language daily Milenio earlier this week, Torres’ mother Roselia Duarte pleaded for executive intervention, urging President Enrique Peña Nieto to “help us, because we have seen that justice does not exist.”

http://www.theguadalajarareporter.com/news/news/guadalajara/42435-local-teens-imprisoned-after-us-auctioned-off-car-loaded-with-drugs

http://duncantucker.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/local-teens-imprisoned-after-us-authorities-auctioned-off-car-loaded-with-drugs/
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

_Jack
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

Siskiyou_Kid
In reply to this post by K_Mennem
The only good thing about this story is that these guys will almost certainly receive a multimillion dollar payout from the US government when they're finally released.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

choco
In reply to this post by K_Mennem
Article doesn't say when the US said the coke in the car with the teens was the same as found in the original bust, but it seems like the problem now lies with the Mexican bureaucracy.

Apparently the parents have not paid them a high enough bribe at this point.

Really sad for the kids.  Hoping the high profile will get them out of jail.
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

Jorge Jorvanivich
In reply to this post by K_Mennem
That dope has already been sold again. That would suck, but they will get paid.
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

Baggy
@Jack its like jorge has said, the dopes been sold already.. And do cartels actually sell kilo's 90gs short?or is that the bp taxing the evidence before/while logging it?
Patriotism is a propaganda tool used to make people blind to the lies of their government through unquestioning devotion.
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

dr.janebrock
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This post was updated on .
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

j.ward
dr.janebrock wrote
Seems odd the Mexican in Guadalajara would purchase a car online from an auction of vehicles seized by U.S. authorities.  I am curious if the dad has a history that would provoke this treatment.
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It could also be a new hustle to smuggle, purchase vehicles previously siezed to use and then if caught play stupid and say it must be from the original bust.
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

Lala
I think this story is just what it looks like, cars are expensive in México so many used cars from the US end up here, I think probably the father´s business was importing cars, he bought a lot online and kept one, c´mon this is not odd at all, just cross the border and you will see lots of cars with US plates or no plates from people who buy them but don´t legalize them, there are dealers of these cars all over México.

jward the US admitted the drugs were part of the original bust, what are the chances of the same guys who set that car to buy it again in an online auction months later while they still have part of that same cocaine lot, packed the exact same way? and then prepare a trip with 2 teenagers and only one kilo...yeah right

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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

_Jack
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

dr.janebrock
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

Lala
Across the border or further inland it´s the same thing, only right across the border and up to as far South as Sinaloa or Zacatecas private buyers often make the trip to buy personally in the US, then there are dealers who buy lots of "chocolate" cars, as they are called, all around the country. I don´t know the import costs because I don´t even own a car, but if so many do it it has to be cost effective, the same car in México can cost twice what it costs in the US
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Re: Local teens imprisoned after US authorities auctioned off car loaded with drugs

Siskiyou_Kid
In reply to this post by K_Mennem
This happens more often then you would think.............................


Man buys minivan, finds $500,000 in cocaine inside
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/11/minivan-cocaine.html


Car Bought at Police Auction Lands Driver in Jail
http://junkcarnation.com/blog/2010/02/car-bought-at-police-auction-lands-driver-in-jail/

Blocks of heroin found inside auctioned RV
http://www.khou.com/news/Blocks-of-heroin-found-inside-auctioned-RV-170689806.html

Dallas police find $400K cocaine stash in own car
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2008-07-10-cocaine_N.htm
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.