Criminal complaint makes corruption allegations against Mexican law enforcement officials

According to a DEA press release and an unsealed criminal complaint, a high ranking Mexican official that had access to US drug intelligence allowed himself to be used as an asset by a drug trafficking group known as the Fernando Sanchez Organization (FSO). From page 64 of the complaint:

Jesus Quiñones Marquez is currently employed as the director of International Liaison for the Baja California Attorney General’s Office. In the capacity, Marquez is one of the primary Mexican liaison official responsible for sharing information with the United States. Marquez is not only aware of the FSO’s illegal activities, he uses his position to obtain confidential law enforcement information for the use of the Enterprise. Based on his contacts with US law enforcement, Marquez obtains information maintained by the California Highway Patrol, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, San Diego Police Department, Customs and Border Protection, and Border Patrol on behalf of the Enterprise. Further, Marquez is actively involved in making arrangements to have various rivals of the FSO arrested and detained by Mexican law enforcement officials.

He also stands accused of planting “stories in Mexican media outlets that placed the blame for killings on a rival gang.”

The complaint mentions a couple more Mexican law enforcement officers as being involved with the FSO’s activities. One police officer, Jose Antonio Ortega Nuvo is alleged to run a “hit crew” on behalf of the organization. He is accused of killing rival drug traffickers and–even more insidiously–of providing a “photographic roster of current Baja California State Police Officers to [fellow drug suspect Carlos] Cosme so that the FSO could target police officers for assassination or corruption.”

It should be remembered that corruption in the Mexican drug war is a huge problem on both sides of the border. Recently, for example, there have been allegations concerning irregularities in a US customs agency anti-drug task force that resulted only in retaliation against a whistle-blower.

The number for the Mexican cartel case is 10-MJ-2489 and can be found in the PACER files of US District Court for the Southern District of California.

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