HomeNewsBriefMexico's 'Queen of the Pacific' Re-Arrested After US Release
BRIEF

Mexico's 'Queen of the Pacific' Re-Arrested After US Release

EXTRADITION / 21 AUG 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Drug trafficker Sandra Avila Beltran, better known as Mexico's "Queen of the Pacific," will now face money laundering charges in Mexico following her quick release from US prison, alleviating fears she would walk free having served only a minimal sentence.

Avila was deported back to Mexico City from a Texas prison on August 20, and was promptly placed in a federal prison in Nayarit state to await proceedings on charges of managing illicit funds, which were suspended when she was extradited to the United States, reported El Universal.

Avila, who was arrested in Mexico in 2007, was extradited to the US in 2012 after a number of legal setbacks. She was released on receiving a light 70-month sentence after cutting a deal with the authorities as the time she had already served in Mexico was counted in her favor.

The infamous trafficker faced charges during the previous administration for funneling illicit money into two life insurance funds, each worth over $300,000, reported El Diario.

InSight Crime Analysis

Avila's criminal connections started at birth -- her uncle, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, alias "The Godfather," was one of Mexico's first major drug traffickers. Early in her criminal career, she served as a link between the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombia's Norte del Valle Cartel. She used romantic relationships to gain prominence in the Mexican underworld and, most famously, became involved with convicted Colombian trafficker Juan Diego Espinoza Ramirez, alias "El Tigre," with whom she was accused of conspiring to traffic nine tons of cocaine in 2007.

The US plea bargain agreed with Avila appeared to bring to a close a tortured and controversial legal process. She was acquitted of drug trafficking charges in 2010 -- a verdict upheld by a judge who was later investigated for organized crime ties -- and her extradition was initially blocked in 2011.

By reviving the old charges, it may be that the Mexican government is trying to challenge perceptions that the country's judicial system is incapable of processing leading underworld figures -- a perception which has fuelled the increasing reliance on extradtion, which in this case also only led to a lenient punishment.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 10 DEC 2020

Congress has released a sweeping report on drug policy in the Americas, laying out a long list of recommendations for…

CHINA AND CRIME / 27 FEB 2021

A new investigation has identified Mexico as a major contributor to a global seahorse trafficking network centered around China but…

MEXICO / 25 MAY 2021

The Cárteles Unidos was formed by the Cartel de Tepalcatepec, the Viagras, and others, to combat the Jalisco Cartel in…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…