Trial of Mexico’s former top cop accused of helping El Chapo’s cartel begins in NYC
Opening arguments began Monday inside the bribery case of Mexico’s former head of federal police — accused of raking in 1000’s and 1000’s in return for aiding “El Chapo” Guzman’s ruthless Sinaloa cartel.
Genaro García Luna, 54, appeared sooner than a jury in Brooklyn federal courtroom, the place prosecutors described him as a a trusted and tremendously extremely efficient public servant who betrayed the Mexican public’s perception in alternate for many of dinero.
“He kept taking dirty money and cocaine kept flowing into the United States,” Assistant US Attorney Philip Pilmar acknowledged.
“Because he controlled the country’s entire police force, the defendant thought he was above the law… No one is above the law.”
Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigative Agency from 2001 to 2005, and was named the secretary of public security in 2006 — inserting him in management of the Mexican Federal Police.
He held that perform until 2012 — all through which interval, prosecutors allege, he was on the take.
“While he was expected to work for the Mexican people, he had a second job, a dirtier job, a more profitable job,” Pilmar suggested the courtroom, together with, “It’s hard for me to explain how powerful he really was because we don’t have any officer in the United States who consolidated that amount of power under them.”
Pilmar accused Luna of doing larger than merely turning a blind eye to the Cartel’s drug commerce.
The prosecutor acknowledged that, in alternate for bribes, Luna provided Cartel troopers with police uniforms and badges — and even despatched his private males as mercenaries to take out enemies of the Sinaloan operation.
“The defendant took some steps not to get caught,” Pilmar acknowledged. “He saved up appearances and made some arrests. He permit us to underlings do the dirty work.
“The defendant was a person who was supposed to be in charge of fighting the Sinaloa cartel,” Pilmar acknowledged. “Actually, he was their most valued asset.”
Luna has maintained his innocence, and pleaded not accountable to charges of worldwide cocaine trafficking conspiracy and making false statements.
The allegations in direction of Luna first surfaced all through the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Brooklyn federal courtroom in 2018, when a key witness described personally dropping off situations containing between $3 million and $5 million.
At the time, Luna vehemently denied the accusations.
“I never had any contact nor received people linked to criminal activity,” he acknowledged in a publicly launched letter in November 2018.
“I have systematically been defamed as long as I have attacked the interests of organized crime, and they have never produced a single piece of evidence to back up these calumnies,” he claimed.
And one different cartel heavy — convicted hitman Edgar “la Barbie” Valdez-Villareal — is anticipated to testify at trial that he, too, personally delivered money to Luna.
An lawyer for Luna contended Monday that the prosecution’s key witnesses are all career criminals with an axe to grind in direction of the earlier cop.
“He waged an all out war against organized crime,” safety lawyer Cesar de Castro acknowledged of Luna.
“The government’s witnesses are casualties [of that war],” he acknowledged. “What larger revenge than to bury the one that waged battle in direction of the cartels?
“All you have is the worst criminals in the world with overwhelming motives to lie,” he added.
Luna “was a public servant in Mexico for more than 20 years,” de Castro acknowledged, noting that he’d rid the ranks of a whole bunch of Federal Police officers suspected of corruption. “He spent his entire career systematically fighting all kinds of criminal organizations.”
“Don’t let the cartels play you,” he acknowledged to the jury. “They are career criminals and professional criminals.”