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Former Quintana Roo Governor Villanueva, Sinaloa Cartel’s 'Queen of the Pacific' Appear in U.S. Courts to Answer to Drug-Related Charges

LADB Article ID: 78711
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2012-08-15
By: Carlos Navarro

Two high-profile Mexicans accused of drug-trafficking offenses had court dates in the US in early August. On Aug. 2, former Quintana Roo governor Mario Villanueva Madrid pleaded guilty in a US Federal District Court in New York to charges that he conspired to launder millions of dollars of drug profits in the US. A week later, Sandra Ávila Beltrán, a high-ranking lieutenant in the Sinaloa cartel, appeared in a US Federal Court in Miami after her extradition to the US. Ávila Beltrán, commonly known as the Reina del Pacífico (Queen of the Pacific), was scheduled to be arraigned on drug-trafficking charges, after allegedly controlling cocaine traffic from Colombia to the western US for years.

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