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Press Release

Corrupt Guatemalan Mayor Indicted in Eastern District of Texas Designated by Treasury Department under Kingpin Act for Drug Trafficking Activities

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas

                PLANO, Texas – A 44-year-old Guatemalan Mayor has been indicted for drug trafficking activities and extradited to the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

                Erik Salvador Suniga Rodriguez, also known as “El Pocho” surrendered to U.S. Drug Enforcement agents in Guatemala this morning and boarded an airplane for extradition to McKinney, Texas.  Suniga Rodriguez was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 13, 2018 in the Eastern District of Texas and charged with drug and money laundering violations.  Suniga Rodriguez was the mayor of Ayutla, a town on the border with Mexico.

                Also today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Suniga Rodriguez, and the Suniga Rodriguez drug trafficking organization (Suniga Rodriguez DTO or “Los Pochos DTO”) as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). 

                As a result of today’s actions, all assets in which Suniga Rodriguez has an interest in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked persons.

                This case is the result of an extensive joint investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. 

                The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Guatemala.  This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Bloss.

                It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated December 20, 2019

Drug Trafficking