Feds Helped Mexican Drug Honcho Move Millions
Transferred cash, drugs across international borders
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 9, 2012 6:48 AM CST
In this file photo, police officers handle packages containing cocaine in southern Colombia.   (AP Photo/William Fernando Martinez)

(Newser) – The New York Times last month revealed that undercover US agents have laundered and smuggled millions of dollars for Mexico's drug cartels—and today the paper shines a light on one such operation, in which federal agents helped one drug trafficker and his Colombian supplier move cash and cocaine across international borders. Over a period of months in 2007, US and Mexican agents worked with that supplier—Harold Mauricio Poveda-Ortega, aka "The Rabbit"—who fed cocaine to cartel leader Arturo Beltran Levya, the New York Times reports.

The Times obtained an extradition order against Poveda-Ortega that gives the details of the operation, which at times reads "like a script for a B-movie," writes Ginger Thompson. It describes, for example, agents pretending to be pilots willing to carry cocaine worldwide. In one instance, traffickers deposited $1 million in a bank account set up by US agents; that money was eventually transferred to Panama. Later, some 730 pounds of cocaine were moved from Ecuador through the US to Madrid, where the drugs were seized by Spanish officials who had been tipped off by the DEA. One thing that stood out to the Times: just how long it takes for these operations to pay off. Though agents worked their way into Poveda-Ortega's operation in 2007, he wasn't captured until 2010. Click through for more details of the operation.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Sep 4, 2012 11:34 AM CDT
So far today, Newser has put up two very misleading newslines which infer a much different story than the one put UNDER the headline! Feds Helped Mexican Drug Honcho Move Millions screams the headlines -- when in fact, the Federal agents were undercover helping "the Honcho" in order to obtain proof that could stand up in a Federal Court! When they had the guy, they also got the names of co-conspirators, names of banks, routes for cocaine trafficking.. and finally they tipped off Spanish police who grabbed the coke! Job well done by the DEA. Where's Newser's Headline Editor???
Jan 9, 2012 6:43 PM CST
Arrests made in 2010? I guess it took for Eric Holder to be InCharge for anything to be done about it.
Jan 9, 2012 2:51 PM CST
Another "victory" in the "War on Drugs" I suppose.