Mexico Arrests Alleged Cocaine Smuggling Kingpins as U.S. Unseals Indictment

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Wednesday, August 1, 2001
Bruce Zagaris
On June 13, 2001, the Mexican Government announced the arrest of Alcides Ramón Magaña, one of the twelve persons listed as “drug kingpins” by the U.S., in the southern city of Villahermosa as the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York unsealed an indictment on the same day against Magaña. The indictment charged Mr. Magaña and Mario Villanueva, governor of Quintana Roo from 1993 to 1999 who was arrested 21 days before Magaña, with conspiracy to smuggle 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. from 1994 to 1996. The indictment states that Magaña arranged to pay former Governor Villanueva US$500,000 for every shipment of cocaine transported through Quintana Roo. Mr. Magaña is also charged with racketeering, drug trafficking, weapons possession, and money laundering – charges that carry a life sentence…[more]