The suspected drug lord accused by the United States government of leading a money laundering ring was absolved by Mexican authorities in 2015 because they couldn’t prove the charges against him.
Raúl Flores Hernández, also known as El Tío (The Uncle), was arrested and imprisoned in the federal penitentiary in Tepic, Nayarit, in 2013 on charges of organized crime and the use of funds derived from illegal sources.
But in 2015 a judge found that there had been violations of due process in his case and ordered his release.
Flores subsequently sought and was granted an amparo or injunction that allowed him to recover personal property secured by the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR). Vehicles, real estate and cash were all returned to Flores, according to court records seen by the newspaper El Universal.
Documents indicated that the PGR was unable to prove that his material wealth was gained via illicit means and also revealed that Flores had told authorities that between 1982 and 1993 he worked selling illegally imported goods known as fayuca as well as buying and selling real estate and contracting artists to perform at events. He assured authorities that his profits were generated by the sale of fayuca.
The same year he was released from prison, the United States embassy in Mexico advised the PGR that Flores was suspected of being involved in drug distribution and money laundering in Mexico and Bolivia. However, the same judge that ruled Flores’ possessions be returned ordered the PGR to clarify the lines of investigation that implicated him in the crimes.
Last week the U.S. Treasury Department declared that Flores was involved in drug trafficking, naming soccer star Rafael Márquez and banda singer Julión Álvarez as front men. The designation was made under what is known as the Kingpin Act.
Flores, whom one U.S. official described as “the least known drug lord,” is believed to have been involved in illegal activities for over three decades. Forty-two organizations that allegedly supported Flores’ trafficking operations were also named in the U.S. government designation.
Flores was arrested again last month in Zapopan, Jalisco.
Source: El Universal (sp)