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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Garcia Luna's Defense Asks for Conspiracy & Criminal Organization Charges to Be Dropped

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

As the prosecution is set to call a possible final 'significant witness' next week; Genaro Garcia Luna's defense team has requested that several charges in the indictment be dropped.

Attorney Cesar De Castro filed motions to drop the charges of having led a criminal organization and conspiracy with drug trafficking, especially with the Sinaloa Cartel. According to the defense, if the evidence was sufficient enough to find him responsible for conspiracy, the crime itself would have been charged. In November 2022, prior to the start of the trial, Luna's defense asked the drug trafficking charges to be dropped. The Judge rejected that motion and the four charges remained.

They also argued that even if the evidence was sufficient to establish that he was responsible for the charge, beyond a reasonable doubt, he had withdrawn from the charged conspiracies at the expiration of the statute of limitations.

In the document filed, they showed that Luna left Mexico between 2012 and 2013. The statement by Sergio Villarreal "El Grande" stated that once García Luna left office in 2012, he ceased to be useful to the Sinaloa Cartel.

The defense team stated that his testimony establishes that "no one from the Sinaloa Cartel had any interaction with García Luna after 2011 and that he resigned from his position in the Mexican government at the end of 2012. The statute of limitations on these charges is 5 years and therefore has expired prior to the government obtaining an indictment against Luna in 2019.

However, the court specified that the defendant is the one who must establish the evidence of having abandoned the conspiracy. But this does not exempt the prosecution from proving all the elements of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

DHS investigator Marlene Tarantino testified regarding the "red flags" about García Luna's citizenship petition for the accusation of lying to immigration authorities. She received an investigative report from the Department of Justice.

To Testify or Not to Testify?

There is a possibility that García Luna will testify in the trial, although it has not been confirmed. But his defense has requested that certain information and lines of questioning not be discussed during his potential cross-examination should he choose to testify in his defense.

Should he decide not to take the stand, his lawyer Cesar de Castro, has requested that the judge direct the jury to not discuss the fact that Luna decided not to testify and any ideas of suspicion behind his decision.

It is yet to be seen if Luna will testify in his own defense next week after the prosecution rests its side of the case. But in anticipation of this, his defense team has filed motions to preclude certain questions and information from coming out during his cross-examination.

Prosecutors oppose limitations of the defense on questions that they can or cannot ask Genaro García Luna if he decides to testify. The only clear limitation at the moment is the one ordered by Judge Cogan on wealth after 2012. They look to show evidence that before 2012 when he left his post in Mexico, García Luna paid for more than $4 million dollars in properties in Miami.

Potential Final "Significant Witness"

In a filing regarding the prosecution's schedule for resting their case next week. They refer to calling a significant witness on Monday, February 13, 2023. Prior to the beginning of the trial, documents were shown that listed instructions regarding lines of questioning for a few potential witnesses. Among the names referenced included several that have since testified.

One name mentioned that has yet to testify is that of "El Mayo's" brother Jesus "El Rey" Zambada. "El Rey" has previously testified that he personally has paid bribe money to Garcia Luna.

Jesús "El Rey" Zambada

In fact, it is very likely that the piece of evidence that resulted in his arrest and this trial arose stemmed from the testimony of Jesús "El Rey" Zambada during the trial against "El Chapo" in 2019. "El Rey" indicated that Luna received briefcases with millions on at least two occasions. DEA agent, Miguel Madrigal, also told the jury that "El Rey" Zambada had a close relationship with people close to García Luna, such as Édgar Bayardo, who was then a commander of the Mexican Police and whom he saw in a video gathered with Zambada.

Iván "La Reina" Reyes Arzate

FBI agent José Moreno, testified about the failed operation in 2012 to arrest "El Chapo", after locating him through his cell phone. The information was sent to the federal police controlled by García Luna. The police arrived late. Agent Moreno stated that the information was given to Iván Reyes Arzate, "La Reina", whom García Luna had as a liaison with the DEA.

Reyes Arzate was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking by Judge Cogan himself after pleading guilty and acknowledged receiving $3 million from the Beltran Leyva Organization. At that time, the prosecutors who handled his case assured that Reyes-Arzate would not cooperate in other trials, but the sentencing documents have been sealed and both the prosecutors and the defense had a private discussion with Judge Cogan at the time.

Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez-Villarreal

Another name that has been mentioned during other testimony but not listed as a witness yet is "La Barbie." As first reported by Borderland Beat, "La Barbie" was no longer listed as being in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. This is common among inmates that have become cooperating witnesses and moved into the custody of another agency for their protection.

Prosecutors ask to limit matters related to agreements and benefits for witnesses, although the judge had already ordered that the evaluation of the testimony contemplate the agreements. The judge is asked to explain how letters of collaboration work and who makes the final decision They also requested that the Judge dismiss defense statements about the "conspiracy" of the US government against Genaro García Luna.

The Judge can instruct the jury that they can decide based on testimonies alone and that the prosecution does not have to provide specific evidence outside of that.


  1. Wouldn’t the request to drop charges entail a plea of some sorts..?

    Or is this circus just about to bring out the trapeze act?

    1. No, it is the defense saying that there isn’t enough evidence or reasons he shouldn’t have been charged with those crimes so doesn’t want them to be part of what the jury deliberates on.

    2. Lol… don’t see that everyday

  2. The flow of drugs and violence after Luna's tenure skyrocketed! By that measure he was doing a good job! Case closed!
    Just saying!

    1. @They skyrocketed BECAUSE of Lunas tenure Big Nuts. The Kingpin strategy was a disaster, and because the violence always comes from protection being withdrawn the policy he pursued (or didn't) would only ever reduce violence in the short term. In the long term, you get what you see today.

  3. Yeah from what I’ve read ALL their “ evidence” is from current convicts and ex cons. ALL have been convicted on drug trafficking. Unless the prosecution has a trick up their sleeve this case is over. We’ll see if they convict. But if it were an actual American citizen born and raised they wouldn’t convict based on evidence thus far. It’s nothing tying him to anything, but a bunch of drug trafficking guys trying to get a time cut. Purely circumstantial.

  4. Unrelated, but I thought BB and the followers would appreciate this… Never before seen photo of a young Mayo with his Mother:

  5. Parts of the indictment do seem thin, but as I understand the CCE, continuing criminal enterprise has no statue of limitations, and the overt acts are the cocaine shipments in the 2000's

    Charging it as a CCE allows prosecutors to use seizures

    Regardless of whether the conspiracy ended in 2012, it is still valid. If the charges made it this far, doubtful they will be dropped, but a judge could be unconvinced, I think the testimony, though not as concise, is convincing, even to an everyday person.

    it's a dozen people saying the same thing, in different times, different places, different factions, but the same narrative.

    1. These are only two of the charges. The trafficking charges, lying to immigration agents (which he’d only be guilty of if he’s guilty of another crime too) remain, the judge refused to dismiss those charges in November.

    2. Right, but the lying to immigration is so thin and procedural, it's near meaningless, for a conviction, that's an instant release, with time served. That's AUSAS stacking charges.

      The trafficking don't work without CCE, is my understanding, even if they returned the indictment earlier than his arrest

      In or about and between January 2001 and the present, both dates being
      approximate and inclusive, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, the
      defendant GENARO GARCIA LUNA, together with others, did knowingly and intentionally

      that part is a major stretch, the "to the present", that's why they needed that CCE, I think, or else the case was going to get thrown out

    3. Yea, that charge isn't significant or prosecutable without him being convicted as it was him writing on his visa application that he hadn't committed any crimes.

      CCE is basically the Kingpin Act and slightly different than a Conspiracy charge as the CCE requires some sort of structure and leadership over 5 or more people and certain amounts of narcotics.

      Conspiracy could be between two people, etc. The conspiracy charge has a statute of limitation. Often prosecutors will charge several varying but similar crimes at once so that the jury has options if they see evidence that fits one versus the other instead of trying to charge them in a different trial if they dont get a conviction....The tough part right now is aside from testimony, theres no other evidence except for "he had a lot of money."

      But I think his defense is just trying for whatever he can as he did before. Will be curious to see who the final witness/evidence will be and if the jury believes enough of the witnesses.

    4. It's my understanding that conspiracy, even narcotics, can't be charged after 5 years, as in you couldn't indict someone today, as in impanel a jury, tomorrow, and go through the whole thing for lets just say importing 100 kilos in 2014

      unless you linked it to a CCE charge, right?

    5. Yes you are correct with 5 year limitation on a conspiracy charge (ie two guys decide to start smuggling drugs) and CCE means being part of a larger network/organization, which is why it has been crucial for the prosecution to prove his associations with the convicted traffickers/cartels.

      CCE is basically a RICO charge but only for narcotics, so yea can bring up older crimes as part of proving the enterprise. He is being charged with both as well as the trafficking charges.

      The drug conspiracy charge and CCE charge can be two different crimes essentially...has to do with scale and CCE can be more difficult to prove.

      The defense is in a roundabout way admitting Luna's guilt but saying it all stopped in 2012 when he left Mexico and so its outside of the statute of limitations. And will see during the next couple of weeks with the defense if they want to play the 'government official' card.

  6. And I want to win the lottery 😫 😄


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