Sunday, May 16, 2010
Former Mexican Governor said to help get drugs to U.S.
The ex-governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo took "millions of dollars" in bribes to order his state police to serve as armed guards for smugglers as they off-loaded and transported more than 200 tons of cocaine from Colombian speedboats that eventually found their way to the U.S., court records show. Mario Villanueva Madrid, extradited to this country late Sunday to stand trial on charges of accepting bribes from the infamous Juarez drug cartel, also is accused of laundering nearly $19 million in illicit drug profits through accounts at Lehman Brothers in New York and elsewhere. Two separate indictments in the case say Villanueva was paid $400,000 to $500,000 for each cocaine shipment transported through his state over a five-year period ending in 1998. The indictments say state police provided armed protection for cartel boat crews as they off-loaded the cocaine and then escorted the shipments hidden inside tanker trucks as they traveled through the state...more