DEA in the NEWS: Senior AFO Lieutenant Sentenced to Life in Prison
JAN 16 -- San Diego CA - Karen P. Hewitt, U.S.Attorney for the Southern District of California, announced that Manuel Arturo Villarreal-Heredia, a former senior lieutenant in the narcotics trafficking Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO), was sentenced today in federal court in San Diego by United States District Court Judge Larry A. Burns to serve thirty years in prison and to forfeit $5 million.
As a result of a DEA-led multi-agency investigation, Villarreal-Heredia pled guilty in September 2007 to operating an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and conspiring to invest illicit drug profits. In his guilty plea, Villarreal-Heredia admitted that as one of the senior lieutenants serving under Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix, the former leader of the AFO, they routinely wiretapped rival drug traffickers and Mexican law enforcement officials; impersonated Mexican military and law enforcement officials; trained assassination squads; “taxed” individuals seeking to conduct criminal activities in Tijuana and Mexicali; kidnapped individuals for ransom; imported and distributed ton quantities of cocaine and marijuana; and tortured and killed people. In November 2007, Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix was sentenced to serve life in prison.
DEFENDANT Case Number: 06cr2646-LAB
SUMMARY OF CHARGES