- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
- GOP presses to scrap IRS commissioner position — but put in panel
- New bill would make sure women in military can get free birth control
- Trafficking bust reveals worries over missing kids; minors as young as 11 found
- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
Feds target contacts of DEA agent’s killer
Question of the Day
The Treasury Department has targeted under the "Kingpin Act" 18 persons and five companies tied to a Mexican drug trafficker convicted in the brutal 1985 kidnapping and murder of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent — prohibiting U.S. residents from conducting financial or commercial transactions with them and freezing any assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Rafael Caro Quintero has been identified as the mastermind behind the killing of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was kidnapped off a Guadalajara street in broad daylight by Mexican police, brutally beaten and then buried near a ranch 60 miles southwest of the city — a death that continues to echo even now throughout the agency.
The veteran agent, along with his pilot, Capt. Alfredo Zavala Avelar, had been viciously tortured by bosses of a Mexican drug cartel fearful he had uncovered a multimillion-dollar smuggling operation tied to top officers in the Mexican army, along with Mexican police and government officials.
Over a 30-hour period, Camarena's skull, jaw, nose, cheekbones and windpipe had been crushed. His ribs were broken; a hole was drilled into his head with a screwdriver. The agent had been injected with drugs to ensure he remained conscious during his torture.
Caro Quintero was convicted in Mexico in Camarena's killing, along with drug trafficking charges, and is currently serving a 40 year prison sentence there.
Gary Haff, acting chief of DEA's Financial Operations Section, described the Treasury Department designation as "another critical tool that helps us pursue hardened career criminals and keep them on the run, making it even more difficult to use the drug assets they have amassed.
"No amount of effort can clean their dirty money, paid for with their violence and by their victims, including DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena," he said. "DEA is committed to seeing that justice is done, and we will not rest until they and their global criminal networks have been put out of business, their assets have been sized and their freedom has been taken."
Adam Szubin, director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said Caro Quintero has used a network of family members and others to invest his fortune into legitimate companies and real estate projects in Guadalajara.
"With the assistance of the government of Mexico, OFAC continues to target drug traffickers, the laundering of their ill-gotten gains, and those who assist them in their illicit activities," he said.
The designation includes six of Caro Quintero's family members; a longtime personal secretary; three others who manage a variety of companies in Guadalajara, which also were designated. Others include those who help Caro Quintero in money laundering operations and members of their families.
The brutality of the Camarena torture shocked even the most hardcore of DEA agents. Abducted in Guadalajara by five Jalisco State police officers within a block of the U.S. Consulate, Camarena was still bound and gagged, his eyes taped shut, when his body was found.
Due to be reassigned less than a month after his body was discovered, he had infiltrated a number of drug gangs, confiscated thousands of pounds of cocaine and marijuana, and seized millions of dollars in illicit drug profits. He had become the worst nightmare for drug smugglers throughout Mexico, particularly those in Guadalajara, then the center of that country's drug-trafficking empire.
The kidnapping and slaying led to the most comprehensive homicide investigations ever undertaken by DEA, which ultimately uncovered corruption and complicity by numerous Mexican officials. Operation Leyenda, translated as Operation Lawman, was established in May 1985 to investigate the abduction. DEA was ultimately successful in securing indictments of several people connected to the slaying.
Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from fines of up to $1.075 million per violation. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Philadelphia mobster sentenced to 11 years as city cleans up crime
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- National laboratory cancels 'Southern Accent Reduction' classes after outcry
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world