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Authorities: Top Mexico official helped smuggle drugs to U.S.

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Posted at 8:14 AM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 16:14:51-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. authorities allege that Mexico's former defense secretary helped smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the United States in exchange for bribes.

Court documents unsealed Friday in New York alleged that Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda acted on behalf of the H-2 cartel while defense secretary from 2012 to 2018 under former President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The post positioned Cienfuegos as a critical figure in efforts by Mexico and its allies to combat drug trafficking.

He was being represented by a public defender, who did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

His personal attorney was en route to Los Angeles, where Cienfuegos was arrested Thursday.