The US Bureau of Prisons has confirmed that the alleged leader of a huge Central American drug trafficking and money laundering network is being held in the US. Her likely collaboration with authorities could yet lead to significant revelations about ties between the region's social elites and organized crime.
According to the US Bureau of Prisons website, Marllory Chacon Rossell -- who the US Treasury Department has identified as the leader of Guatemala's largest money laundering network -- is currently being held in the Federal Detention Center of Miami.
In 2012, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Chacon as "one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America." OFAC also said that Chacon supplied drug shipments to Mexican cartels, with operations in Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, and that she was believed to launder tens of millions of dollars a month, "making her the most active money launderer in Guatemala."
Chacon is scheduled to testify against Hayron Borrayo Lasmibat, alias "El Gordo," one of her former associates who was captured in March, reported elPeriodico. The US Treasury Department has said that Borrayo worked laundering drug money for Chacon's organization.
InSight Crime Analysis
Chacon's network allegedly worked with criminal organizations throughout Central America and her likely collaboration with US authorities could spell trouble for her former associates. Chacon may have already turned in Borrayo, who was arrested in France last March.
If Chacon has indeed struck a deal with US prosecutors, she could potentially share additional information about drug trafficking organizations in Mexico -- including the Zetas -- Colombia, and Honduras, just to name a few. It's also possible that Chacon has incriminating information about Guatemala's elite, given her status in the country's high society. As previously reported by InSight Crime, Chacon -- who is also known in Guatemala as the "Queen of the South" -- is a socialite who rubbed elbows with Guatemala's upper classes, and even attended Vice President Roxana Baldetti's 50th birthday party, according to elPeriodico.
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There have been rumors of Chacon's arrest since May, when local media reported that she had either been detained or turned herself in to US authorities in the Bahamas. The US Bureau of Prisons website does not list her detention date, and it remains unclear when she entered into US custody.