LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Salvador Cienfuegos, the former Mexican Secretary of National Defense, is in federal custody Friday morning after being arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking at Los Angeles International Airport.
Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard said he was informed about the Thursday night arrest by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau. According to the Mexican government, he has a hearing this afternoon, then will be transferred to New York to face the charges.
Desde Los Angeles la Cónsul , Marcela Celorio, reporta : la audiencia será a las 14:30 (16:30 hora de CDMX) se estima será trasladado el Gral Cienfuegos a Nueva York, su abogado llega en unas horas desde México, son 5 cargos relativos a narcotráfico los que se le imputan.
— Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) October 16, 2020
Cienfuegos, who was defense minister from 2012-28 under former President Enrique Peña-Nieto, was arrested by the DEA Thursday and will face drug and money laundering charges. Mexican officials say he was arriving in the U.S. with his family, who were released.
The 72-year-old is a retired Mexican Army general and the first high-ranking military official to be taken into custody in the U.S. in connection with drug corruption.