A former Federal Police officer charged with collaborating with the Beltrán Leyva cartel has turned himself in to United States authorities in Chicago.
The head of the Federal Police said yesterday that Iván Reyes Arzate was part of the force’s anti-drug division until he was fired last November.
Manelich Castilla Craviotto said there were suspicions about Reyes having ties to the Beltrán Leyva Organization, prompting investigations by agencies on both sides of the border, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Reyes wasn’t arrested by Mexican authorities because the investigation had yet to produce the necessary evidence to get an arrest warrant, Castilla said. “We didn’t have proof of anything, just a hint of mistrust.”
“When the agent realized he was under investigation by authorities not only from our country but also from the United States, he decided to voluntarily turn himself into the Chicago police,” Castilla told a press conference yesterday.
“Our suspicions were confirmed by this,” he added.
The commissioner stated that Reyes was the liaison between the National Security Commission and the DEA, a position he allegedly used to obstruct investigations for his own personal gain.
Castilla explained that suspicions about Reyes first arose after tightly-knit operation failed.
“. . . We had indications that sensitive information had been leaked from [the anti-drug division’s] top-level circle of trust.”
Reyes was charged by U.S. authorities in February with obstructing an investigation into the Beltrán Leyva cartel in exchange for personal benefit. He is accused of telling cartel members they were being investigated by the DEA, said the U.S. Department of Justice following his arrest.
“Reyes was the principal point of contact for information being shared between U.S. law enforcement and the Mexican Federal Police,” said the DOJ in a statement. “He first drew the attention of U.S. authorities in September 2016 while the investigation was active and ongoing.”
A criminal complaint unsealed in Chicago yesterday alleges that Reyes leaked crucial information to several targets of an undercover probe, along with the identify of an informant who had to be removed from Mexico for his safety.
Then, DEA agents intercepted a conversation in October between drug traffickers who spoke of a meeting with a police officer named Iván.
The complaint also says Reyes revealed the identity of an informant during a meeting with cartel boss Arturo Beltrán-Leyva in 2009. The informant had been “instrumental” in obtaining an indictment against the cartel’s leaders.
The complaint says Beltrán Leyva ordered the informant be kidnapped, tortured and killed.
Reyes was paid at least $3 million for his information, the complaint says.