NEW YORK (AP) - A man who served as secretary of public security in Mexico from 2006 to 2012 has been indicted in New York City on drug charges alleging he accepted millions of dollars in bribes to let the Sinaloa cartel operate with impunity in Mexico.
Genaro Garcia Luna, 51, a resident of Florida, was charged in Brooklyn federal court with three counts of cocaine trafficking conspiracy and a false statements charge, authorities said in a release.
Garcia Luna was arrested Monday by federal agents in Dallas. Prosecutors in Brooklyn said they will seek his removal to New York. The arrest and charges were announced Tuesday.
U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said Garcia Luna took millions of dollars in bribes from the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, "while he controlled Mexico’s federal police force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico.”
“Today’s arrest demonstrates our resolve to bring to justice those who help cartels inflict devastating harm on the United States and Mexico, regardless of the positions they held while committing their crimes," he said.
Garcia Luna received millions of dollars in bribes from 2001 to 2012 while he occupied high-ranking law enforcement positions in the Mexican government, authorities said.
From 2001 to 2005, Garcia Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency, and from 2006 to 2012 served as Mexico’s secretary of public security, controlling the nation's federal police force, authorities said.
They said the bribes paid to Garcia Luna cleared the way for the Sinaloa cartel to safely ship multi-ton quantities of cocaine and other drugs into the United States while getting sensitive law enforcement information about investigations and information about rival drug cartels.
There was no immediate comment from representatives for Garcia Luna.
Garcia Luna was once seen as a powerful ally in the American effort to thwart Mexican cartels from flooding the U.S. market with cocaine and other illegal drugs. But he had also previously come under suspicion of taking bribes.
In 2018, former cartel member Jesus Zambada testified at El Chapo's New York trial that he personally made at least $6 million in hidden payments to Garcia Luna, on behalf of his older brother, cartel boss Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
The cash was delivered during two meetings at a restaurant in Mexico between the start of 2005 and the end of 2007, he said.
Big fish caught. This guy was very close to President Calderón and was one of the main strategists in the drug war when it first started.
Not entirely sure how strong of a case the prosecution could have against him, but I'm curious to see what else they have under their sleeves besides the "he said, she said" testimonies. Thanks for sharing!
Federal prosectors won't bring a case against someone like him without having a solid one. They will have eyewitness testimony from Zambada and some of his subordinates, financial records, and the false statements to bring it all together. Garcia Luna will have money to fight the case though, so we will see.
I did read, the first thing I looked at, after your story.
USAO Brooklyn is trying to send a message here, and they made sure they have a solid case, and now, even if the cocaine conspiracy is slightly older and based on, I assume, cooperating witnesses and a seizure, they can hold him on everything, esp. the lying to federal officials, deny him bail, based on a flight risk.
Then, start digging through his finances from the last 10 years, and his US based assets, money laundering, bank fraud, all of that.
Look at high profile cases, like the R Kelly indictments, also filed in Brooklyn, where they have now filed superceding charges of bribery and public corruption going back 20 years plus. They will do the same to Luna if he doesn't cooperate, from the beginning.
Neh, don't think so. They, Mexico, are trying to appear as I'll be damned, we want him to face justice here! Both know better, he's going down as Calderon's architect. I don't think the narco war could've started here, I think it was inevitable in the long term.
We see it all the time dysfunctional, enablers, etc. Luna is all the above. Money is more important than morals, family and integrity. So be it, learn a lesson asshole when it's too late -
Very True I think your right.
As for when it all started I meant the date Parro of December 11th when Calderon sent his troops in.
I just hope this is the start of Officials going down for their complicity as nothing will ever improve until the Cartels support is taken out from them IMO
Is this an indication of more things that are going to be cracked wide open?Is this a 'forced' turning point for Mexico?I got a gut feeling there is going to be a lot more to come and way more tentacles in the octopus from Luna all tied in together.There must be a lot of 'nervous nellies' in Mexico right now shaking in their boots!
I'd think they'd want him back to "silence" him. Allegations of collision and bribery to the highest levels of the Mex gov coming from "dirty drug dealers" are one thing, but one of the top dogs in the game singing from the safety of a US jail is something they don't want. This guy could get Trump to start wanting our money back for all the aid we gave them to stop the cartels. Of course there's dirty guys in US gov too, but that will all be redacted, and not admitted. They want him back to kill him.