Fugitive Leader of Drug Trafficking Operation Sentenced to Thirty Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Cocaine into Southern Illinois
ST. LOUIS, Mo., – On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Armando Medina-Hernandez was extradited from Mexico to the United States by DEA Special Agents and U.S. Marshals to face federal drug trafficking charges in the Southern District of Illinois.
According to the Superseding Indictment unsealed on November 16, 2018, Medina has been charged by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. Medina is accused of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and 5 kilograms or more of a mixture or substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine to the Southern District of Illinois and elsewhere.
"This extradition is further evidence of the partnership between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials to bring narcotic traffickers to face the American justice system," according to DEA St. Louis Division Special Agent in Charge William Callahan. SAC Callahan and United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft recently met with high-level Mexican Government counterparts in Chicago to discuss efforts to combat Mexican drug trafficking organizations supplying the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area and Southern Illinois. "This extradition is the result of an international partnership where U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials are a unified force committed to combat international drug trafficking," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steven D. Weinhoeft said. "The US Attorney’s Office is committed to identifying and prosecuting offenders who directly impact the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Southern Illinois, even when we have to cross international borders to apprehend them."
SAC Callahan and US Attorney Weinhoeft credit the DEA agents and prosecutors who tracked the source of supply of the drugs to Mexico. "We are seeing record heroin and fentanyl deaths throughout the St. Louis Metro region and methamphetamine continues to plague the Midwest," explained SAC Callahan. "In this case, our investigation tracked the source of this poison to Mexico, so that is where we went to begin to infiltrate this specific organization. The extradition of Medina back to the Southern District of Illinois is the first step in that direction."
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, that charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.