Thirteen individuals, including alleged high-level cartel members, were extradited from Mexico to the United States to face charges pending in various jurisdictions, including the murders of a U.S. Consulate employee and two others, and other violent crimes and drug trafficking-related offenses.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg of the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI Director James B. Comey and Acting Director David Harlow of the U.S. Marshals Service made the announcement.
In their first meeting on June 16, 2015, Attorney General Lynch and Attorney General Arely Gómez González of Mexico agreed to begin a new era of collaboration between the two nations to fight international organized crime. The extraditions announced today are a result of these efforts.
“Today’s extraditions would not have been possible without the close collaboration and productive relationship the Department of Justice enjoys with officials at the highest levels of law enforcement in Mexico,” said Attorney General Lynch. “I am grateful to our Mexican counterparts not only for their assistance with this important matter, but also for their extraordinary efforts and unwavering partnership in our ongoing fight against international organized crime. I look forward to all that we will continue to accomplish in the service of that mission as we build on these achievements together in the days and months ahead.”
The following 12 defendants were placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals Service late this afternoon. An additional defendant was also extradited, but the case remains under seal until the defendant’s initial appearance tomorrow.
Luis Umberto Hernandez Celis, aka Pack; Alberto Nunez-Payan, aka Fresa, Fresco and 97, and Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, aka Chino, are alleged members of the Barrio Azteca gang and were charged on March 9, 2011, in Western District of Texas with participating in the March 13, 2010, murders in Juarez, Mexico, of U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a U.S. Consulate employee.
Jorge Costilla-Sanchez, aka El Cos, is an alleged former leader of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, and was charged on April 10, 2002, in the Southern District of Texas with cocaine and marijuana importation and distribution, money laundering, and threatening federal law enforcement officers with assault, kidnapping or murder. Costilla-Sanchez was among the FBI’s most wanted until his arrest by Mexican authorities on Sept. 12, 2012.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, aka La Barbie, and Carlos Montemayor were allegedly high-level members of the Sinaloa and Beltran-Leyva Cartels and were charged on June 11, 2010, in the Northern District of Georgia with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine, as well as conspiring to launder money by transporting drug money from the United States into Mexico. Valdez Villarreal also faces narcotics-related charges in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Jean Baptiste Kingery was charged on Nov. 20, 2013, in the Central District of California with arms trafficking related to the illegal exportation of defense article and munitions from the United States to Mexico. Kingery is expected to make his initial appearance in the District of Arizona on Oct. 1, 2015.
Aureliano Montoya-Pena, aka La Changa, was among 20 defendants charged on Nov. 2, 2011, in the Northern District of Illinois with conspiracy to possess and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and various other offenses related to transporting millions of dollars in drug proceeds between Chicago and Mexico.
Julio Cesar Valenzuela-Elizalde, aka The Pilot, was among eight defendants charged on Dec. 19, 2002, in the District of Arizona with an international methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to import a controlled substance.
Martin Daniel Castillo-Rascon was charged on June 12, 2013, in the Western District of Texas with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to import a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, importation of a controlled substance and aiding and abetting.
Antonio Reynoso-Gonzalez was charged in 1995 in the Southern District of California along with Joaquin Guzman-Loera, aka El Chapo, and 22 others with conspiracy to import and to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.
Antonio Gonzalez Platas was charged in the state of Arkansas with rape.
The charges and allegations in an indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Today’s extraditions were coordinated by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the FBI, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals Service. The federal cases are being handled by prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and Organized Crime and Gang Section and in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the District of Columbia, Central District of California, Northern District of Georgia, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Louisiana, Southern District of Texas and the Western District of Texas. The state case is being handled by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for Arkansas.