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U.S. Judge denies bond for former cartel-connected Mexican governor Tomas Yarrington

April 25, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
U.S. Judge denies bond for former cartel-connected Mexican governor Tomas Yarrington

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A Texas federal judge ruled that former Mexican governor Tomas Yarrington will stay behind bars until his trial, where he is facing almost a dozen charges related to drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering.

Sporting the same clothes that he was extradited in while handcuffed and shackled, Tomas Yarrington, the former Governor of Tamaulipas appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan for an initial hearing. When asked about his background and education, the former governor said he obtained a Masters from a university in Los Angeles.

He is also facing the forfeiture of $132 million in cash, a plane, and multiple properties. The former politician requested a court-appointed lawyer–claiming he did not know if he had any money to pay for legal counsel, according to the Brownsville Herald.

Morgan read Yarrington his rights and then ordered that the former Mexican politician was not able to meet the conditions required for the court to determine that he is not a flight risk and make the necessary court appearances.

“You … I’ll leave it as ‘left’ for six years,” Morgan stated, talking about Yarrington’s time as a fugitive. The judge requested that Yarrington is taken back into the custody of the U.S. Marshals. The former politician is scheduled back in court this week for his arraignment.

Yarrington served as governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005 and before that, was the mayor of Matamoros.

During his time in office, Yarrington was reportedly the recipient of bribes from the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas to permit the criminal organizations to work with impunity in the state.

Federal officials allege that Yarrington started accepting bribes from the Gulf Cartel in 1998. After he completed his tenure, Yarrington reportedly worked with Los Zetas and the Beltran Leyva Cartel to achieve access to the Port of Veracruz.

In addition to the cartel-related charges, Yarrington is also accused of accepting bribes and using state funds. U.S. officials started building a case after he moved some of the money into U.S. bank accounts and for eventual laundering via real estate investments in Texas.

While U.S. authorities filed an indictment against Yarrington in 2012 and publicly identified him a fugitive in 2013, the Mexican politician resided with government-paid bodyguards. U.S. Homeland Security agents tracked down Yarrington in Italy where they apprehended him.

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