New York. General and former Mexican Secretary of Defense Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda is formally charged by the United States government with four counts: three for conspiracy to manufacture, import into the United States, and distribute illicit drugs; and a money laundering charge.
Federal prosecutors detail that General Cienfuegos Zepeda abused his position to help the fishbelt H-2 traffic thousands of kilos of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana to the United States, and that in exchange for bribes allowed that cártel act with impunity in Mexico.
Cienfuegos was arrested Thursday by US authorities at the Los Angeles airport.
As revealed by the official indictment made public yesterday by the Federal Court of the Eastern District of New York, the first three charges approved by a grand jury based on evidence presented by federal prosecutors affirm that between December 2015 and February 2017, General Cienfuegos , also know as The Godfather, along with others, conspired to manufacture and distribute illicit drugs including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana with the knowledge that they would be exported to the United States.
The fourth charge is for conspiracy to launder funds from the drug trafficking. According to the indictment, between the same dates from December 2015 to February 2017, Cienfuegos carried out “financial transactions” transferring and delivering funds in US and Mexican currency that came from drug trafficking.
In a letter sent to the court in New York by the acting federal prosecutor, Seth Ducharme, dated October 16, a “permanent warrant of arrest” is requested for the general – that is, in opposition to any form of probation, under bond and house arrest – and you are considered a flight risk.
The prosecutor claims, in the letter, that the defendant abused his position as Secretary of National Defense to assist the fishbelt H-2 traffic thousands of kilos of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana to the United States by fishbelt H-2.
In the indictment, the United States government announces that if the defendant is convicted of any of these four charges, the government will seek to confiscate funds and property.
The indictment is dated and registered with the court on August 14, 2019, the date the arrest warrants were issued against the general.
General Cienfuegos will be presented with these charges for the first time in a hearing scheduled for this Friday in Los Angeles, and it is assumed that he will be transferred to New York at some point where his judicial process, including a trial, would take place.