Mexican National Extradited from Brazil to Face International Cocaine Trafficking Charge
(STL.News) A Mexican national was extradited from Brazil to the United States on Nov. 10 to face international drug trafficking charges. Jose Gonzalez-Valencia, aka Jafett Arias-Becerra, aka La Chepa, aka Camaron, and aka Santy, 46, arrived in the United States on Wednesday and made his initial court appearance yesterday in Washington, D.C. Superior Court. He is detained pending his appearance on Friday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather in D.C. District Court.
According to court documents, beginning in as early as 2006, Gonzalez-Valencia conspired with others to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States from a foreign country. According to court documents, Gonzalez-Valencia is alleged to be a high-ranking leader of the Los Cuinis drug-trafficking organization (DTO), which is based in Jalisco State in Mexico.
Los Cuinis is closely aligned with the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG). Together, Los Cuinis and CJNG form one of the largest, most dangerous, and prolific drug cartels in Mexico. They have been and continue to be responsible for trafficking ton quantities of illegal drugs into the United States and employing extreme violence to further that objective. The close alliance between Los Cuinis and CJNG is strengthened by familial ties between the criminal organizations: Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, aka Mencho, the leader of CJNG, is married to Rosalinda Gonzalez-Valencia, who is the defendant’s sister.
“The United States will continue to work with global partners to pursue those who seek to import illegal drugs into our country,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A . Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “U.S. law enforcement can, and will, target individuals who are responsible for funneling large quantities of illegal and dangerous drugs into our communities here at home.”
“Today’s extradition of Jose Gonzalez-Valencia showcases the commitment of Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) agents and prosecutors to bring alleged international drug traffickers to justice,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Gonzalez-Valencia will face a jury in the United States after allegedly trafficking cocaine for more than a decade.”
A grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment against Gonzalez-Valencia on Oct. 26, 2016. In December 2017, Gonzalez-Valencia was arrested by Brazilian police in Fortaleza, Brazil, at the request of the United States, where he remained detained pending his extradition.
Gonzalez-Valencia is charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it will be unlawfully imported to the United States. If convicted, Gonzalez-Valencia faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is part of “Operation Stir the Pot,” which was supported by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division is investigating with the assistance of DEA Brasilia.
Deputy Chief Anthony Nardozzi and Trial Attorneys Kate Naseef and Kaitlin Sahni of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section are prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Office of Enforcement Operations and Office of International Affairs have also provided significant assistance.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.