Former Mexican Secretary of Public Security Arrested for Drug-Trafficking Conspiracy and Making False Statements
Genaro Garcia Luna Allegedly Received Millions of Dollars in Bribes from “El Chapo’s” Sinaloa Cartel
An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Genaro Garcia Luna, the former Secretary of Public Security in Mexico from 2006 to 2012, with three counts of cocaine trafficking conspiracy and one count of making false statements. In exchange for multimillion-dollar bribes, the defendant allegedly permitted the Sinaloa Cartel to operate with impunity in Mexico. Garcia Luna was arrested yesterday by federal agents in Dallas, Texas, and the government will seek his removal to the Eastern District of New York to face these charges.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the charges.
“Garcia Luna stands accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel while he controlled Mexico’s Federal Police Force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “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.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offices in New York and Houston, Homeland Security Investigations, New York Field Office (HSI), New York City Police Department (NYPD) and New York State Police (NYSP) for their work on the case.
According to the indictment and other court filings by the government, from 2001 to 2012, while occupying high-ranking law enforcement positions in the Mexican government, Garcia Luna received millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel in exchange for providing protection for its drug trafficking activities. From 2001 to 2005, Garcia Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency, and from 2006 to 2012, he served as Mexico’s Secretary of Public Security, controlling Mexico’s Federal Police Force. In exchange for the payment of bribes, the Sinaloa Cartel obtained safe passage for its drug shipments, sensitive law enforcement information about investigations into the Cartel, and information about rival drug cartels, thereby facilitating the importation of multi‑ton quantities of cocaine and other drugs into the United States. On two occasions, the Cartel personally delivered bribe payments to Garcia Luna in briefcases containing between three and five million dollars. According to financial records obtained by the government, by the time Garcia Luna relocated to the United States in 2012, he had amassed a personal fortune of millions of dollars.
Garcia Luna continued to take steps in the United States to conceal his corrupt assistance to drug traffickers. Specifically, he allegedly submitted an application for naturalization in 2018, in which he lied about his past criminal acts on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel.
If convicted of the drug conspiracy charge, Garcia Luna faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment.
The investigation was led by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The Strike Force is based at the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA, NYPD, NYSP, HSI, U.S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, New York National Guard, Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Eastern District’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section and Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael P. Robotti, Ryan Harris and Erin Reid are in charge of the prosecution.
GENARO GARCIA LUNA
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-576 (RJD)