Mexican Lawman Arrested in Sweep

Friday, Jul 23, 2010  |  Updated 9:08 PM PDT
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Mexican Lawman Arrested in Sweep

A Mexican law enforcement official has been charged in San Diego with using his position to help drug traffickers.
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A Mexican law enforcement official has been charged in San Diego with using his position to help drug traffickers.
    
Jesus Quinones Marques, a liaison to U.S. authorities with the Baja California attorney general's office, was among 43 defendants named in a federal indictment unsealed Friday.

     Quinones arranged for rivals of the Arellano-Felix cartel to be arrested by Mexican authorities, according to the U.S. attorney's office. He also allegedly passed along classified intelligence to drug traffickers.
    
The U.S. attorney's office released the indictment following raids in San Diego and Mexico in which 31 of the defendants were arrested this week. Quinones was arrested Thursday in San Diego during a traffic stop.
    
Prosecutors allege Quinones and other defendants worked for Fernando Sanchez Arellano, a nephew of the brothers who head the Arellano-Felix cartel and one of the most wanted alleged drug traffickers in Tijuana, Mexico.
    
Sanchez's high-ranking lieutenant, Armando Villareal Heredia, was also named in the indictment, but U.S. authorities were unaware if Mexican officials had him in custody. Sanchez was not named in the indictment and officials declined to say if he was facing any charges under seal.
    
"We will certainly not tolerate the seepage of drug-related violence in our communities," U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said. "We are committed to disrupting their operations."
    
Federal officials began investigating the defendants in January after an initial investigation by the San Diego district attorney's office. A task force consisting of federal and local authorities participated in the sting, using wiretaps and other technology to collect evidence.

"Cartels should make no mistake: Our business is to end their business," San Diego police chief William Lansdowne.
    
Authorities said Quinones was taped sharing information with drug traffickers but declined to elaborate on the nature of the information.
    
Raids conducted Thursday and Friday yielded a ton of marijuana, 30 pounds of meth and 15 pounds of cocaine.
    

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