A former official for the Mexican government, Genaro Garcia Luna, was arrested and charged in the United States on Monday. He is accused of accepting millions in bribes to allow Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel to operate freely in Mexico and distribute drugs in the United States.
Richard P. Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the charges against Luna, which include three counts of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy, and one count of making false statements. Luna was arrested in Dallas and authorities will seek to bring him to New York to face the charges.
“Today’s arrest demonstrates our resolve to bring to justice those who help cartels inflict devastating harm on the United States and Mexico, regardless of the positions they held while committing their crimes,” Donoghue said in a statement.
Luna held several high-profile positions in the Mexican government between 2001 and 2012, which is the timeframe the indictment and other court documents cover: Between 2001 and 2005, he led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency, and between 2006 and 2012, he was Secretary of Public Security, overseeing Mexico’s Federal Police Force. U.S. officials allege that the Sinaloa drug cartel paid Luna millions in bribes during this period in exchange for “safe passage for its drug shipments, sensitive law enforcement information about investigations into the Cartel, and information about rival drug cartels, thereby facilitating the importation of multi-ton quantities of cocaine and other drugs into the United States.”
Donoghue’s office alleged that on at least two occasions, the Sinaloa Cartel personally delivered to Luna briefcases containing three to five million dollars, and that by the time he relocated to the United States in 2012, Luna had amassed a multi-million dollar fortune. In 2018, Luna reportedly applied for naturalization and is accused of making false statements about his criminal history on official immigration forms.
If convicted, Luna could face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.