Former Mexican Secretary of Security Genaro García Luna will tentatively sit in the dock of justice on October 24, 2022, to answer charges of conspiring to traffic tons of cocaine to the United States.
In a videoconference hearing held this Wednesday in the Brooklyn Court, both the judge, the prosecution and the defense of García Luna, present at the same, agreed that if the parties were not prepared for that date, the trial would be postponed until early 2023.
The length of the trial is expected to be “eight weeks,” the court announced.
The material collected by the US authorities, “more than a million documents”, as well as audios that would incriminate García Luna, presents a difficulty for the defense to analyze it for that date, said lawyer César de Castro.
Before, for next December 8, another hearing has been set for this case.
Judge Brian Cogan, who is handling the case, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Harris and defense attorney De Castro participated in Wednesday’s hearing.
Arrested on December 10, 2019 in Dallas, Texas, García Luna is accused by the US justice of three crimes of conspiracy to traffic cocaine for helping the Sinaloa Cartel to send tons of drugs to the United States in exchange for millionaire bribes between 2001 and 2012, and another crime for making false statements in 2018.
According to the courts, their collaboration would have allowed the entry of at least 53 tons of cocaine into the United States.
Penalty could be perpetual
In January 2020, García Luna pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine for aiding the Sinaloa cartel and another offense for making false statements in 2018.
The 53-year-old engineer, who is still detained in New York, faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.
The government of Mexico asked the United States for his extradition in January 2020. Weeks later, he accused him of diverting more than 200 million dollars from the public purse to his family’s companies.
And last September, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit in the United States to recover assets “derived from a large illegal contracting scheme in the national security and defense sector,” related to illegal operations that García Luna would have carried out.
From 2001 to 2005, García Luna headed the defunct Federal Investigation Agency of Mexico, in charge of fighting corruption and organized crime, and from 2006 to 2012 he was Secretary of Public Security for the government of Felipe Calderón, with control over the federal police. .
García Luna is one of the highest ranking Mexican officials arrested in the United States on charges of drug trafficking.
The indictment of García Luna in New York is the result of revelations that emerged in the trial of Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, former head of the Sinaloa cartel, found guilty of drug trafficking in February 2019 after a historic three-month trial in the Brooklyn court , and sentenced to life imprisonment.