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DOJ indicts suspected member of Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel
The Department of Justice has filed with a Makati court drug-related charges against one of the suspected leaders of the notorious Mexican Sinaloa drug syndicate.
In a 21-page complaint, Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera accused 39-year-old Horacio Hernandez Herrera alias "Mex" of selling more than two kilos of cocaine to undercover agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency during a buy bust operation on Jan. 11 in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City.
Navera said Herrera's acts were in violation of Section Five, Article Two of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
"Respondent Herrera's act of sealing transparent plastic bags containing cocaine clearly identified him as the seller who himself demanded and received the payment... Respondent and his boarding of the Toyota Vios were also telling indications that he was the seller with the intention to surreptitiously and immediately sell the cocaine," the charge sheet said.
A chemistry report from the PDEA dated Jan. 12, 2015 confirmed that the substance seized was cocaine, a dangerous drug under RA 9165.
The suspect, who has residences on General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati and in Ciudad Valles in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was allegedly one of the top leaders of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel in Southeast Asia.
In his defense, Herrera, through a counter-affidavit, denied the charges against him, insisting there was no valid arrest and that acts of robbery, kidnapping, and extortion were committed against him.
He claimed his right against unreasonable searches and seizure was violated.
According to his account, Herrera arrived in the Philippines on Oct. 28, 2013 to put up a business. He said he later met a certain Sarah Nazareno, who offered help in setting it up.
Herrera said Nazareno introduced him in December 2013 to two Chinese men and a Filipina, who claimed to be the wife of one of the two. The Chinese asked him if he wanted bring in "ice" into the country. Herrera said he turned down the offer.
Nazareno later introduced Herrera to another man, who said he was a Customs officer and made the offer as the two Chinese. Herrera claimed he once again refused the offer.
Nazareno also allegedly introduced the Mexican to another suspected drug dealer, a certain "Mike.
Herrera said Nazareno tapped him to help her determine whether the dollars that Mike would be paying her were real. Herrera agreed and came with her to a hotel in Makati, where Nazareno and Mike transacted.
When the three were all inside one of the rooms of the hotel, Herrera said Mike instructed Nazareno to go down to the parking area and meet his [Mike's] driver. As he moved to close the door, Herrera said around 10 men barged into the room and covered his face with a pillow.
The men, who Herrera would later claim were the PDEA agents who arrested him, allegedly demanded money from him in exchange for his freedom.
In a reply affidavit, the PDEA agents branded Herrera's defense as "self-serving and a concoction of lies." The police said they wouldn't have been "daring and enterprising to demand money from him" as 30 PDEA and police officers were in the of the buy-bust operation.
News site Global Post tagged the Sinoloa drug cartel as Mexico's most powerful criminal syndicate.
A special report on CNN in 2012 indicated Mexico's problems with the Sinoloa cartel and the Zetas, which had gained control of nearly half of Guatemala's territory. Kevin Casas-Zamora, a former vice president of Costa Rica, suggested the figure is about 40 percent.
In December 2013, some P400 million worth of metamphetamine (shabu) was seized in a raid in Lipa City, Batangas, confirming the presence of the notorious drug cartel in the country.
Herrera has been in the country for 14 months and was planning to open a business in the country when he was arrested in last January.
[Source: By Mark Merueñas, GMA News, Manila, 05Jun15]
Human Rights in Mexico
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