Mexican Drug Cartel bosses and Mex Federal Agent plead guilty The remarkable thing about this case is one of the defendants as a high ranking cartel boss of Richard Padilla Cramer a former United States Government agent with ICE
United States Attorney, Karen P. Hewitt, announced today that, within the last week, Jesus “Chuy” Labra-Aviles, Efrain Perez, Jorge Arrelano Felix, and Armando Martinez-Duarte pled guilty in United States District Court to charges arising from their leadership of the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization (AFO).
The defendants entered their guilty pleas before United States Magistrate Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo, subject to final acceptance of the plea by United States District Court Judge Larry A. Burns, at the time of sentencing. The details of the defendants’ pleas are not known but here is what we do know:
Jesus “Chuy” Labra-Aviles: On October 15, 2009, Labra-Aviles pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and agreed to forfeit $1 million. Under the plea agreement, the United States will recommend 40 years of imprisonment. As part of the plea, Labra-Aviles admitted that from the 1980s to 2000, he was a senior partner in the AFO who frequently joined with Benjamin Arellano-Felix and Manuel Aguirre-Galindo to invest in and distribute large shipments of cocaine and marijuana. Labra-Aviles also admitted that he served as an organizer and leader of the AFO and that AFO members paid millions of dollars in bribes to law enforcement officers, government officials, and military officials. Sentencing for Labra- Aviles is set for January 4, 2010, 9:30 a.m., before United States District Judge Larry A. Burns.
Armando Martinez-Duarte: On October 16, 2009, Martinez-Duarte pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. As part of his plea, Martinez- Duarte admitted that from the 1990s to April 2002, he was a federal law enforcement officer in Mexico who was paid by AFO leaders to leak information about AFO investigations, intervene with other law enforcement officers on the AFO’s behalf, escort and protect AFO members and drug shipments, and help place certain individuals in ranking law enforcement positions in areas under AFO control. Sentencing for Martinez- Duarte is set for January 11, 2010, 9:30 a.m., before Judge Burns.
Efrain Perez: On October 19, 2009, Perez pleaded guilty to conducting the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and conspiring to invest illicit drug profits. Perez also agreed to forfeit $1 million. Under the plea agreement, the United States will recommend 30 years of imprisonment. Perez admitted that from the 1990s to June 2004, he and Ismael Higuera-Guerrero, the top lieutenant to the Arellano-Felix brothers, were responsible for receiving large drug shipments in Mexico and smuggling them into the United States, coordinating the distribution of drug shipments within the United States, collecting drug proceeds, and policing Tijuana for enemies, suspected informants, and uncooperative government personnel. Perez also admitted AFO members killed numerous persons in furtherance of the enterprise. Sentencing for Perez is February 8, 2010, 9:30 a.m., before Judge Burns.
Jorge Aureliano Felix: On October 21, 2009, Felix pleaded guilty to conducting the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and conspiring to invest