Genaro García Luna, who served as Mexico’s Interior Minister under President Felipe Calderón, was found guilty of collaborating with the Sinaloa cartel in smuggling tons of drugs into the United States. A jury reached this conclusion after a trial that lasted several weeks in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
Garcia Luna was found guilty of all five charges against him, including membership in a criminal organization and conspiracy to distribute drugs. The prosecution was able to convince the jury that García Luna was leading a lucrative double life: on the one hand, as the right-hand man of the Calderón government in the fight against drug trafficking and the cartels affecting Mexico; on the other hand, receiving millions of dollars from the same drug traffickers in exchange for protection and information to carry out their illicit business.
According to the indictment, García Luna was at the service of criminals, specifically the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and other capos such as the Zambada brothers and Arturo Beltrán Leyva. To achieve this, the prosecution presented testimony from several drug traffickers serving sentences in the United States.
One of these witnesses, Sergio “El Grande” Villarreal, affirmed before the jury that Garcia Luna was the best investment the Sinaloa Cartel had ever made. According to Villarreal, the cartel paid between $1 million and $1.5 million a month to Garcia Luna for years in exchange for protection and insider information.
Garcia Luna’s defense attempted to refute these allegations by arguing that witnesses convicted of drug trafficking testified against him to obtain prison benefits and that there is no hard evidence to prove that he collaborated with the cartel. However, the jury found that the breadth and depth of the evidence and testimony presented by the prosecution were sufficient to find Garcia Luna guilty.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 27, and Garcia Luna faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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