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U.S. government seek extradition of cartel-linked governor of Mexican border state

December 18, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
U.S. government seek extradition of cartel-linked governor of Mexican border state Gaceta

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Over three months after authorities in Tamaulipas arrested former governor Eugenio Hernandez Flores on embezzlement charges, the U.S. Department of State has submitted an extradition request, requesting that the transfer of the corrupt politician to Texas to face charges of federal money laundering and fraud.

The former Tamaulipas Governor served in office between 2005 to 2010 and since 2014, is being sought after in the Southern District of Texas on money laundering and fraud charges.

The case against Eugenio Hernandez Flores is the result of an ongoing probe by Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. DEA, Proceso reported.

The most recent development occurred this week during a hearing at a federal court in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico. Defense lawyers were given formal notice that the U.S. government was filing for extradition.

Mexican officials removed press outlets and those not linked to the case from the room. Officials claimed that some of the arguments dealt with open investigations that could be compromised if the information was revealed.

The former governor and his lawyers spent several hours pleading in court for a judge to issue them supervised release on bond.

The U.S. government seek the extradition of Eugenio Hernández Flores, former governor of Tamaulipas. Photo: Benjamin Flores

For over seven years after left office, Hernandez lived with complete impunity and had government protection alleging that the warrants against him were all politically motivated accusations.

That lifestyle came to a close in October when Tamaulipas police arrested him on embezzlement charges, asserting that he had used his position to illegally buy a massive tract of government-owned waterfront property for 1% of its fair market value.

Since his arrest, Hernandez has been jailed without bond in a state prison, and federal authorities then transferred him to a more secure penitentiary.

The shift in the Mexican government and the choice to prosecute came after a new governor from a rival party assumed office and started looking into the allegations against him. Soon after the arrest, the Tamaulipas government from the same party pressured Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office for assistance in moving forward with the extradition to Texas.

Hernandez and his predecessor, Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, are both affiliated with the same political party and are wanted by U.S. authorities on related charges linked to moving cartel bribes and embezzled money into Texas. Yarrington is in an Italian prison fighting extradition and faces drug trafficking charges in the U.S. associated with the Los Zetas, the Gulf, and the Beltran Leyva Cartels.

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