A Brooklyn federal jury found former Mexican Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna guilty Tuesday of helping the Sinaloa cartel import drugs into the U.S. and attack the organization’s rivals in exchange for bribes, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.
Garcia Luna was Mexico’s secretary of Public Security from 2006 to 2012 and led its Federal Investigative Agency from 2001 to 2005, taking millions of dollars in bribes from the cartel, facilitating their shipments of drugs into the U.S. and informing them about law enforcement probes, the office’s press release said.
He also aided the Sinaloa cartel in attacking rival cartels, and lied to U.S. authorities about his criminal history in a 2018 application for U.S. naturalization following his 2012 move to the country.
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“It is unconscionable that the defendant betrayed his duty as Secretary of Public Security by greedily accepting millions of dollars in bribe money that was stained by the blood of Cartel wars and drug-related battles in the streets of the United States and Mexico, in exchange for protecting those murderers and traffickers he was solemnly sworn to investigate,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said, according to the press release. Fugitive former elite Mexican law enforcement officials Luis Cardenas Palomino and Ramon Pequeno Garcia have been charged in the same indictment as Garcia Luna.
Mexico has long been plagued by corrupt relationships between government officials and cartels.
A witness at drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera’s 2019 trial claimed he paid former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto a $100 million bribe, according to The New York Times, while Mexican Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos has faced allegations that he accepted bribes to protect cartel leaders, though U.S. charges against him were dismissed in 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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Garcia Luna was convicted of crimes including international cocaine distribution conspiracy, cocaine importation conspiracy, and making false statements, set to be sentenced to twenty years to life in prison, the press release indicated.
The investigation was led by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the New York/New Jersey High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
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