Mexican Drug Cartel-Connected Police Official Taken Into Custody In U.S.

Mexican Drug Cartel-Connected Police Official Taken Into Custody In U.S.

PHOENIX, AZ (Breitbart) – A Mexican police chief who is believed to be working with drug cartels was arrested after he illegally crossed into Arizona while fleeing from Mexican authorities.

U.S. federal authorities recently arrested Jose Guillermo “La Barbie” Duarte Astorga the deputy police chief of Nogales, Sonora, at the Nogales International Port of Entry after he attempted to enter the country. Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained him after learning that he had a prior immigration violation, an agency statement revealed.

The fleeing Mexican law enforcement official was allegedly turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for questioning, Mexican news outlets reported. However, the agency has not released any statements confirming or denying the issue. Nogales borders Arizona and sits in the path of a major drug smuggling route into the United States utilized by the Sinaloa Cartel and smaller affiliated cells.

Duarte appears to have been on the run from Mexican federal authorities after being suspected of having provided police weapons to drug cartels. The case began when Mexican Army personnel led by General Salvador Fernando Cervantes Loza conducted two highly-publicized firearms inspections of the installations of the Nogales police department.

In the first inspection, troops blocked entrances and exits to the police facility preventing police personnel from departing while the inspection was taking place. It was reported that Deputy Chief Duarte strongly objected to the inspection and had a heated verbal confrontation with General Cervantes. The inspection was eventually completed and soon after, they returned to carry out a second inspection of the armament.

As per Mexican law, the Office of the State Secretary of Public Safety in Sonora is responsible for arming state and municipal police. Each agency is required to complete a detailed inventory of all issued firearms to include, a description of where the firearms are stored and if they remain in the possession of personnel. The Mexican military also has jurisdiction over the control of firearms in Mexico.

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