Mexico Arrests 2 Drug Suspects on U.S. Warrants

Article excerpt

Mexican law enforcement officials have arrested two reputed leaders of a Mexican-based drug cartel named on indictments sought by U.S. authorities in a multimillion-dollar operation that distributed methamphetamines throughout Mexico and the United States.

Luis Ignacio Amezcua-Contreras was arrested in Guadalajara on June 1, while his brother, Jose de Jesus Amezcua-Contreras, was arrested a day later in Mexico City. Both men were taken into custody as fugitives by Drug Enforcement Administration agents from the Mexican counter-narcotics agency.

The Amezcua-Contreras brothers, who headed what Mexican and U.S. officials believe was the most powerful and dominant methamphetamines trafficking organization in Mexico, were named on a four-count indictment handed up yesterday by a federal court in San Diego and announced by DEA officials in Washington.

They were accused of operating a continuing criminal enterprise to manufacture and distribute methamphetamines and conspiracy to possess ephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamines. The indictment charges that from 1989 through 1998, the Amezcua brothers led a methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution organization that transported and sold large quantities of the drug internationally.

The indictment also said the Amezcua brothers personally arranged for the delivery of large quantities of methamphetamines in California, and supervised the purchase, establishment and operation of clandestine laboratories throughout the Los Angeles area. They also were accused of organizing and directing a money-laundering operation for illicit drug profits. …