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Mexico’s former police chief pleads guilty to accepting $290,000 from drug cartel

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Iván Reyes Arzate, the former commander of the sensitive investigation unit of the federal police, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, admitting that the criminal organization El Seguimiento 39 bribed him with $290,000 after a meeting in November 2016

A former Mexican police chief pleaded guilty in a federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday to receiving payments from a drug cartel that helped smuggle cocaine into the United States and betrayed a DEA snitch who was later murdered.

Iván Reyes Arzate, 49, former commander of the sensitive investigation unit of the federal police, admitted that the criminal organization El Seguimiento 39 bribed him with $290,000 after a meeting in November 2016.

“As a member of the Mexican public service and in exchange for a payment, I agreed to give a drug trafficking organization data that would facilitate the distribution of cocaine, knowing that this was a crime,” Reyes Arzate told U.S. District Judge Brian M. cogan.

Reyes Arzate participated in a US-led investigation into the drug trafficking organization El Seguimiento 39, which is affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel, the Beltran Leyva organization and other Mexico-based cartels.

Reyes Arzate, known as “La Reina” or “The Queen,” met with the leadership of the El Seguimiento 39 cartel and passed on information about the investigation in exchange for the cash compensation.

Arturo Beltrán-Leyva, co-founder of the Beltrán Leyva Organization, allegedly paid Iván Reyes Arzate and two other agents in 2008 $3 million for information about a DEA informant who was later kidnapped and murdered

Arturo Beltrán-Leyva, co-founder of the Beltrán Leyva Organization, allegedly paid Iván Reyes Arzate and two other agents in 2008 $3 million for information about a DEA informant who was later kidnapped and murdered

In 2008, Reyes Arzate and two other agents withdrew $3 million from the Beltrán Leyva Organization after providing background information about a DEA informant arrested in Miami.

The disgraced police commander and the other officers met then-cartel leader Arturo Beltrán-Leyva in Mexico City with a photo of the informant, who was later kidnapped and murdered.

The Beltrán-Leyva organization also paid Reyes Arzate $500,000 to arrest American-born drug lord and former associate Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villareal.

He was caught in a rural house outside Mexico City in August 2010 and is serving a 49-year sentence in a federal prison in Florida.

Reyes Arzate was arrested in April 2017, shortly before the Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted a phone call between two drug traffickers describing the former top cop’s tortuous ways.

Edgar 'La Barbie' Valdez Villareal (pictured), an American-born enforcer for the Beltran-Leyva Organization and Sinaloa cartels, was arrested in August 2010 after the leaders of the Beltran-Leyva Organization paid $500,000 to Iván Reyes Arzate, who at the time was the commander of the sensitive investigation unit of the Federal Police of Mexico.  On Tuesday, Reyes Arzate pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Mexican criminal organizations

Edgar ‘La Barbie’ Valdez Villareal (pictured), an American-born enforcer for the Beltran-Leyva Organization and Sinaloa cartels, was arrested in August 2010 after the leaders of the Beltran-Leyva Organization paid $500,000 to Iván Reyes Arzate, who at the time was the commander of the sensitive investigation unit of the Federal Police of Mexico. On Tuesday, Reyes Arzate pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Mexican criminal organizations

Genaro García Luna, Mexico's former security minister under President Felipe Calderón, reportedly took millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel while Joaquín

Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former security minister under President Felipe Calderón, reportedly took millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel while Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán ran the organization. According to The Associated Press, Tuesday’s admission of guilt in a federal court in New York by former Mexican police chief Iván Reyes Arzate could cause trouble for García Luna as he is believed to be cooperating or cooperating with prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern United States. district of New York

Reyes Arzate started out as an agent assigned to the Sensitive Investigation Unit in 2003 and was promoted to commander in 2008. In his position, he shared information between the United States authorities and their counterparts in SIU.

The division regularly collaborates with law enforcement agencies in the United States on investigations into drug trafficking, money laundering and other illegal activities.

A federal court in Chicago has found Reyes Arzate guilty of leaking investigation data into cartels in Mexico and sentenced him to three years and four months in November 2018.

He was due to be released from prison on January 23, 2020, but a New York grand jury has charged him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine and international cocaine distribution conspiracy. He was arrested a few days later.

According to The Associated Press, Reyes’ plea means he is or will work with federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in their case against Genaro García Luna.

Luna was arrested in Texas in December 2019 and is being held in New York on charges that he took millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán while serving as the security chief under former President Felipe Calderón from 2006 to 2012. and oversaw the government’s fight against the drug cartels.

By taking thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for information about the police investigation into the El Seguimiento 39 cartel, Arzate forged a deplorable alliance with drug traffickers, not only betraying the people of Mexico he had sworn to protect. , but also its law enforcement partners who put themselves at risk to disrupt the cartel,” New York’s Eastern District Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.

Reyes Arzate will be sentenced on January 6, 2022. He faces a prison term of five to forty years.

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