Mex­i­can cop warned drug car­tel of sur­veil­lance

Feds: Com­man­der iden­ti­fied in­for­mant

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY AN­DREA NOBLE

A former high-rank­ing com­man­der in the Mex­i­can Fed­eral Po­lice, who served as the agency’s point of con­tact with Amer­i­can law en­force­ment, stands ac­cused of leak­ing de­tails about DEA in­ves­ti­ga­tions to drug car­tel mem­bers who were un­der sur­veil­lance, ac­cord­ing to U.S. fed­eral au­thor­i­ties.

Ivan Reyes Arzate is charged with con­spir­acy to cor­ruptly ob­struct, in­flu­ence and im­pede an of­fi­cial pro­ceed­ing, the U.S. At­tor­ney for the North­ern District of Illi­nois an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

Au­thor­i­ties said the 45-year-old former law­man warned mem­bers of the Beltran Leyva drug car­tel when the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion tapped their phones and at one point iden­ti­fied a per­son who had been co­op­er­at­ing with the DEA to gather ev­i­dence on the car­tel.

Ac­cord­ing to a crim­i­nal com­plaint filed in the case, a con­fi­den­tial law en­force­ment source said he had wit­nessed meet­ings be­tween Mr. Reyes and drug car­tel leader Ar­turo Beltran Leyva be­fore his 2009 death.

The source said Mr. Reyes re­ceived part of a $3 mil­lion bounty paid by the Beltran Leyva car­tel for iden­ti­fy­ing a DEA in­for­mant, who was later kid­napped, tor­tured and killed on or­ders from Ar­turo Beltran Leyva.

Au­thor­i­ties said Mr. Reyes’ ac­tions first gar­nered at­ten­tion in Septem­ber, as U.S. and Mex­i­can au­thor­i­ties were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a net­work of high-level car­tel mem­bers re­spon­si­ble for trans­port­ing tons of co­caine from Colom­bia to Mex­ico and, ul­ti­mately, to the United States.

The com­plaint states that Mr. Reyes pro­vided a copy of a photo taken as part of law en­force­ment sur­veil­lance to an al­leged Mex­i­can drug traf­ficker when Mr. Reyes in­formed the man he was the prin­ci­pal tar­get of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In­for­ma­tion Mr. Reyes shared with the gang mem­bers mir­rored in­for­ma­tion that the DEA had pro­vided to him ear­lier.

In Novem­ber, as mem­bers of the car­tel dis­cussed ob­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion about U.S. au­thor­i­ties’ in­ves­ti­ga­tions, one mem­ber re­ferred to a source who had pro­vided in­for­ma­tion in the past as “Ivan,” who oth­ers later called “the boss.”

“The United States and Mex­ico have a long his­tory of close co­op­er­a­tion in com­bat­ting transna­tional or­ga­nized crime,” said Joel R. Levin, the act­ing U.S. At­tor­ney for the North­ern District of Illi­nois. “The crim­i­nal com­plaint an­nounced to­day is the first step in hold­ing Mr. Reyes ac­count­able for at­tempt­ing to im­pede that bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion by al­legedly ob­struct­ing a sig­nif­i­cant in­ves­ti­ga­tion for per­sonal gain.”

Mr. Reyes is be­ing held in Chicago, au­thor­i­ties said. He is ex­pected to ap­pear in court next week.

The an­nounce­ment of charges against him came the same day that a fed­eral judge in the District of Columbia, sen­tenced a top leader in the Beltran Leyva drug car­tel to life in prison.

Al­fredo Beltran Leyva, brother of Ar­turo Beltran Leyva, was one of the lead­ers of the Beltran Leyva or­ga­ni­za­tion and helped the car­tel move tons of co­caine and metham­phetamine into the United States.

He was sen­tenced to life in prison and or­dered to for­feit $530 mil­lion.

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