Feds explain decision to drop drug charges against ex-Mexican defense secretary

Feds explain decision to drop drug charges against ex-Mexican defense secretary


The US made the unusual decision to drop drug-trafficking charges against former Mexican Secretary of National Defense Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda because it determined that maintaining its relationship with Mexico is more important than pursuing the prosecution, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

“Here there was a balancing frankly of interest between the department’s interest in pursuing this particular prosecution against the interest of the United States in foreign relations, and in particular with the United States’ relationship with Mexico and cooperative law enforcement efforts that go, that touch upon this case,” Acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme said in Brooklyn federal court.

“The United States determined that the broader interest in maintaining that relationship in a cooperative way outweighs the department’s interest in … pursuing this particular case.”

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US District Judge Carol Bagley Amon agreed to grant the dismissal. Cienfuegos, who was present in court, will now be turned over to Mexican authorities for possible prosecution.

“This motion to seek dismissal

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