A fuel theft ring involving high-ranking officers of the Mexican army is coming apart after the arrest of a general who was a subdirector of operations at Pemex.
Agents the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) arrested General Sócrates Alfredo Herrera Pegueros in Guerrero on Thursday after he failed to show up for court hearings in May and June to respond to criminal allegations against him and other officers.
Herrera is described as the “second in command” to General León Trauwitz, former head of security at Pemex, who is accused of leading the fuel theft operation. He faces charges of organized crime and fuel theft.
The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) has arrested five people in relation to the case. On June 22, a judge threw out an injunction protecting Trauwitz from arrest, but he has not been located and is believed to have left the country.
In June, Sergeants Ramón Márquez Ledezma and José Carlos Sánchez Echavarría and Lieutenant Oziel Aldana Portugal were indicted for allegedly working under General Trauwitz in the fuel theft scheme.
The case first came to the attention of federal prosecutors in March 2017 when three former soldiers reported having witnessed official complicity in fuel theft. However, the case was not pursued until President López Obrador took office in December 2018.
In addition to the five soldiers, 16 government officials have been arrested for crimes related to fuel theft.