The former Mexican Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna was charged Tuesday with drug trafficking and receiving bribes from the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
Garcia Luna’s position made him the head of Mexican police. He served in the office from 2006 to 2012, and was arrested on Monday by federal agents in Dallas, Texas.
“Garcia Luna stands accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel while he controlled Mexico’s Federal Police Force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico,” announced Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Garcia Luna was indicted in federal court in Brooklyn.
The Sinaloa Cartel displayed its power in October of this year when its gunmen laid siege to the city of Culiacán, after police had arrested El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzman. During the hours-long gun battle, police begged Guzman to call cartel members directly to call off the attack. Eight people were killed in the fighting, and police eventually police released Guzman.
The indictment alleges Garcia Luna received bribes from the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for freedom of movement for cartel members and goods, as well as for inside information on police investigations into the cartel. At least two of the bribes of between three to five million dollars were paid out in suitcases filled with cash, delivered by cartel members directly to Garcia Luna. His protection allowed for the importation of tons of cocaine into the U.S.
Garcia Luna left Mexico for the U.S. in 2012 after amassing a fortune from his dealings with the cartel, and in 2018 he lied about his past involvement with the cartel on his naturalization application.