23 bod­ies dumped in north­ern Mex­ico

U.s. charges of­fi­cial

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION - By Mark Steven­son

MEX­ICO CITY — Au­thor­i­ties found the re­mains of at least 23 peo­ple in a se­ries of pits and scat­tered on the ground at a sus­pected drug­gang dump­ing site near the in­dus­trial hub of Mon­ter­rey in north­ern Mex­ico, an of­fi­cial an­nounced Fri­day.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors were hunt­ing for more bod­ies at the ru­ral site out­side Mex­ico’s third­largest city, lo­cal me­dia said. Pho­to­graphs showed charred spots on the soil sug­gest­ing some bod­ies might have been par­tially burned.

The state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice in Nuevo Leon state, where Mon­ter­rey is lo­cated, said more heavy equip­ment was be­ing brought in to search the ground and pits where the re­mains were found.

The bod­ies were too badly de­com­posed for im­me­di­ate iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice said.

The clan­des­tine grave site, which was dis­cov­ered Thurs­day, is thought to have been used by drug gangs that op­er­ate in the area.

The Mex­i­can army didn’t of­fer any in­for­ma­tion on how the site was found.

Car­tel hit men have been known to use mass dump­ing sites to dis­pose of their vic­tims. In late May, po­lice in the cen­tral Mex­ico tourist town of Taxco dis­cov­ered 55 bod­ies in

an aban­doned sil­ver mine.

A Mex­i­can law en­force­ment of­fi­cial who worked with U.S. of­fi­cials was charged with shar­ing con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion with drug traf­fick­ers and ar­rang­ing the ar­rests of his drug boss’ ri­vals, ac­cord­ing to a U.S. in­dict­ment against a gang that fer­ries drugs over the border into Cal­i­for­nia.

Je­sus Quinones, the in­ter­na­tional li­ai­son for the Baja Cal­i­for­nia state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice, was among 43 de­fen­dants named in the fed­eral rack­e­teer­ing com­plaint that al­leges murder, kid­nap­ping and other crimes. They are ac­cused of work­ing for Fer­nando Sanchez Arel­lano, who is con­sid­ered the most-wanted drug king­pin in Ti­juana.

Quinones and 30 oth­ers are in cus­tody, while 12 de­fen­dants re­mained at large, au­thor­i­ties said. Most of the ar­rests oc­curred Thurs­day and Fri­day — 27 in the San Diego area and four in Mex­ico.

Quinones, 49, was ar­rested Thurs­day in San Diego. He was a pri­mary point of con­tact in Baja for U.S. law en­force­ment agen­cies.

“We had a strong re­la­tion­ship with him, most of the (U.S.) agen­cies — fed­eral, state and lo­cal,” said Keith Slot­ter, spe­cial agent in charge of the FBI’s San Diego of­fice. “It was dis­turb­ing when he got caught up in this.”

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