WASHINGTON - Fifteen individuals have been extradited over the past week from Mexico to the United States to stand trial, to be sentenced or to serve sentences, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. Twelve of the 15 defendants are charged with federal narcotics-related offenses and the remaining three are accused of violent crimes in state-prosecuted cases.
“Extraditions are an important tool we have to ensure that criminals are brought to justice in this country,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Over the past decade, the Department of Justice has established stronger partnerships with Mexico in many areas of law enforcement, including extraditions to and from each country. With these extraditions of individuals who committed or stand charged with violent and dangerous crimes, we look forward to seeing those partnerships continue to strengthen.”
Three defendants charged in the Northern District of Illinois are arriving today in Chicago. Nine of the defendants departed Mexico and arrived in Houston Saturday morning, while the remaining three arrived in the United States over the course of the past week, beginning on Dec. 8, 2010. The U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI will transport the defendants to the jurisdictions in which they are charged. The extradited defendants are the following:
Oscar Jacobo Rivera Peralta , Ricardo Valdez Torres and Alfredo Molina Garcia: Northern District of Illinois; According to court documents, from approximately 2001 until 2006, Peralta, Torres and Garcia were members of a drug trafficking organization responsible for the importation of cocaine, heroin and synthetic heroin into the United States for distribution. The defendants are charged with narcotics trafficking-related offenses.
Rigoberto Yanez: Southern District of California; According to court documents, Yanez was a high-ranking member of the Tijuana Cartel/Arellano Felix Organization (AFO). During the 1990s, Yanez allegedly acted as a primary representative of the AFO in Mexico City, allegedly handling both the receipt of drug shipments and the transmission of money to drug suppliers, as well as enforcement activities, which included the kidnapping and killing of rival narcotics traffickers. Yanez is charged with narcotics trafficking, money laundering and organized crime-related offenses.
Jose Manuel Escobedo: Eastern District of Texas; In May 2004, Escobedo was found guilty of narcotics offenses, and in February 2005 he was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison. Escobedo escaped from prison in March 2006 and fled to Mexico after serving approximately half of his sentence.
Cantalicia Garza: Southern District of Texas; Garza is accused of participating in a narcotics transportation and distribution organization between 2005 and 2007.
Garza is charged with narcotics trafficking-related and money laundering offenses.
Louis Damian Barrientos Barba: Webb County, Texas; According to court documents, on Oct. 21, 2007, Barrientos Barba allegedly shot an individual who was sitting in his truck parked at his home. Barrientos Barba was arrested, but fled to Mexico after being released on bail. Barrientos Barba is charged with aggravated assault.
Jose Maria Cuevas Gonzalez: Clarke County, Va .; According to court documents, on July 9, 2008, Cuevas Gonzalez and an individual had several angry telephone conversations about an old debt Cuevas Gonzalez owed the individual. Later that afternoon, Cuevas Gonzalez allegedly met the individual and one of the individual’s friends. Cuevas Gonzalez allegedly shot and severely injured the two individuals. One of the victims died at the scene. Cuevas Gonzalez is charged with murder and related offenses.
Sergio Humberto Lujan and Marco Antonio Lujan: Western District of Texas; In July 2007, U.S. law enforcement authorities arrested Sergio Humberto and Marco Antonio Lujan after, according to court documents, intercepting telephone calls in which both men, along with other co-conspirators, discussed selling cocaine and the amount of money made in a drug deal conducted in El Paso, Texas. In January 2009, both defendants pleaded guilty to narcotics charges in the Western District of Texas, but fled to Mexico prior to sentencing.
Timoteo Rios: Harris County, Texas; On April 16, 2008, Rios and another man allegedly attacked an individual and grabbed her car keys as she left a store in Houston. According to court documents, as Rios approached the victim’s car, she screamed and attempted to prevent him from taking the car, which had the victim’s baby in the back seat. Rios then allegedly stabbed the victim and fled from the scene. The victim later died at a local hospital. Rios is charged with murder.
Jose Rodolfo Escajeda: Western District of Texas; Between January 2000 and November 2006, Escajeda was allegedly a high-ranking member of a narcotics trafficking organization which imported marijuana and cocaine into the United States from Mexico. According to court documents, this organization also distributed narcotics throughout the United States and transported narcotics proceeds to Mexico. Escajeda and a co-defendant allegedly directed the illegal importation of approximately 188,000 kilograms of marijuana and approximately 25 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico into the United States.
David Plata Segovia: Western District of Texas and Southern District of Alabama; Beginning as early as 1997 and continuing until at least 2008, Segovia was allegedly a leader of a cocaine trafficking organization based out of McAllen, Texas, which transported large shipments of cocaine to other cities in Texas as well as to Alabama, Michigan and Delaware. Segovia is charged with narcotics trafficking-related offenses.
Victor Flores: District of Arizona; Flores, according to court documents, allegedly took part in a drug trafficking organization that imported more than 20 tons of cocaine from Mexico into the United States between February 1995 and April 1999. The organization used a tunnel connecting Naco, Sonora, Mexico, and Naco, Arizona, to import the cocaine, and Flores used his residence in Naco, Arizona, to store approximately one ton of cocaine. Flores is accused of narcotics trafficking conspiracy charges and related weapons offenses.
Bernardo Nava: Southern District of California; During 2006 and 2007, Nava was purportedly a member of a methamphetamine trafficking organization operating in San Diego, California. Nava was responsible for coordinating the transportation of shipments of methamphetamine from Tijuana, Mexico to the United States. Nava is charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy charges.
Charges are merely allegations and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) worked with law enforcement colleagues in the United States and Mexico to affect the extraditions. Individuals pending trial will be prosecuted by attorneys from the jurisdictions in which they are charged.