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Authorities: Top Mexico official helped smuggle drugs to US

Mexico General Arrested
Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda
Posted at 1:30 AM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 01:30:25-04

LOS ANGELES — U.S. authorities allege that Mexico’s former defense secretary helped a cartel smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the United States in exchange for bribes.

Court documents unsealed Friday in New York alleged that Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda acted on behalf of the H-2 cartel while defense secretary from 2012 to 2018 under former President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The post positioned Cienfuegos as a critical figure in efforts by Mexico and its allies to combat drug trafficking.

Cienfuegos made an initial court appearance Friday in Los Angeles, where a judge ordered him held without bail.