Friday, July 23, 2010
A Mexican police official who worked closely with California law enforcement officials has been arrested in San Diego. However, San Diego law enforcement officials say it will not derail their work with Mexican authorities.
Jesus Quinones was the Baja California Attorney General's international liaison.
He was indicted along with 42 others on drug trafficking charges in federal court in San Diego Friday.
Quinones allegedly gave classified information from U.S. law enforcement agencies to Tijuana's most powerful drug gang.
Jessie Navarro is with the San Diego County District Attorneys office. He met often with Quinones and says he was surprised about the charges.
"He seemed to be very supportive and cooperate with U.S. law enforcement, seemed to be very professional. All of us know that there is corruption on the Mexican side of law enforcement. It does not mean that everybody is corrupt," said Navarro.
In 2008 the international liaison for Tijuana's Municipal Police was arrested for alleged ties to drug cartels.
Cross-border collaboration has dealt serious blows to drug groups in Tijuana during the last few years.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy says that work will continue.
"We have evolved in the way that we've dealt with our Mexican counterparts in the past. Of course there are systems and measures that we will put in place and that we will learn from, from this experience. But, we will go on and take it to the next phase. And continue with our cooperation," Duffy said emphatically.
Twenty-seven of the people named in the indictment were arrested across San Diego County. More were detained in Tijuana. A dozen remain at large.
Meanwhile, the FBI is seeking information that will lead to the arrest of three people named in the indictment: Juan Carlos Rique, Tijuana; Jennifer Escamilla, Tijuana; Hassain Alzubaidy, aka Arab, Moreno Valley, CA.