New York Post

Chapo's 'dirty' top cop on trial


The former head of Mexico’s “Federales” raked in millions of dollars in bribes in return for aiding Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s ruthless Sinaloa cartel by shielding the trafficker­s as they funneled cocaine into the US, federal prosecutor­s alleged at the start of his corruption trial in Brooklyn on Monday.

Prosecutor­s described Genaro García Luna, 54, as a trusted and tremendous­ly powerful public servant who betrayed the Mexican public’s trust.

“He kept taking dirty money and cocaine kept flowing into the United States,” Assistant US Attorney Philip Pilmar said in his opening statement. “Because he controlled the country’s entire police force, the defendant thought he was above the law.”

García Luna (below) led Mexico’s Federal Investigat­ive Agency from 2001 to 2005, and was named the secretary of public security in 2006, placing him in charge of the Mexican Federal Police.

He held that role until 2012, during which time, prosecutor­s allege, he was on the take.

“While he was expected to work for the Mexican people, he had a second job, a dirtier job, a more profitable job,” Pilmar said.

Pilmar accused García Luna of doing more than simply turning a blind eye to the cartel’s drug trade.

He said that, in exchange for bribes, García Luna provided cartel soldiers with police uniforms and badges, and even sent his own men as mercenarie­s to take out enemies of the Sinaloa operation.

“The defendant was a person who was supposed to be in charge of fighting the Sinaloa cartel,” Pilmar said. “Actually, he was their most valued asset.”

A defense attorney countered that the prosecutio­n’s key witnesses are all career criminals with an ax to grind against the former cop.

“He waged an all-out war against organized crime,” Cesar de Castro said of García Luna. “The government’s witnesses are casualties. What better revenge than to bury the man who waged war against the cartels?”

Later, Sergio Villarreal “el Grande” Barragan, an ex-cop who served as a lieutenant for the Sinaloan-allied Beltran Leyva cartel until his arrest in 2010, testified that García Luna had been on the take long before his time with the Federal Police.

“When I [joined the Sinaloas in 2001], he was already getting paid,” he said. “He would give us informatio­n about investigat­ions against our organizati­on. He helped us put in and take out commanders in any plaza in Mexico. He shared informatio­n so we could hit our rivals,” Barragan said

“It was a great help because we were able to grow and to minimize our rival,” he said.

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