“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat
Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, alias “El Menchito,” son of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, “El Mencho,” leader of the so-called Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), will plead guilty at 9:30 a.m. on April 12, 2023, before Judge Beryl Alaine Howell in Courtroom 26A of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C., to two counts of conspiracy to traffic drugs and one count of use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime, of two counts of conspiracy to traffic drugs and one count of use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime.
According to judicial documents, cited by national and international media, the trial against “El Menchito” – 33 years old, U.S. citizen, originally from San Francisco, California, United States – was scheduled to begin on May 2, 2023, with the selection of the jury.
However, in January of this year, a notice was circulated regarding the rescheduling of a hearing in the case and on March 3, 2023, a motion was reported in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Oseguera González’s defense requested an extension of the deadline for filing motions and statements.
El “Menchito” served as the CJNG’s second-in-command until the time of his arrest by Mexican authorities. He was first arrested on January 30, 2014, in Zapopan, Jalisco, in possession of 25 million pesos and firearms.
But on December 1, 2015, a Mexican federal court acquitted Oseguera González of the crime of organized crime, and committing crimes against health. However, members of the Army and Navy (SEMAR) apprehended him again on June 23 of the same year. Since then he has remained in prison.
The then Attorney General’s Office (FGR) accused “El Menchito” of laundering money for the CJNG through the purchase and sale of properties. However, Oseguera Gonzalez said that these properties were donated by his mother, Rosalinda Gonzalez Valencia, alias “La Jefa,” who is imprisoned in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO), No. 16, “CPS Femenil Morelos,” located in the municipality of Coatlan del Rio, in the state of Morelos, for the alleged crime of operations with resources of illicit origin.
On February 20, 2020, “El Menchito” was released from the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO), number 11 -located in Hermosillo, Sonora-, and was transferred by air to be placed at the disposal of the Federal Court of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C., which has required him since 2016.
Oseguera González will be tried in the aforementioned US Federal Court on charges of possession and use of a firearm, as well as conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, with the knowledge that the drugs would reach the US.
Oseguera González, on the other hand, faced five trials for crimes committed in Mexico, such as organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, possession of weapons exclusive to the Army and bribery, but was acquitted.
On September 9, 2019, the Second Collegiate Court in Criminal and Labor Matters of Oaxaca refused to grant an injunction to “El Menchito”, with which Oseguera González sought to avoid being handed over and tried by the aforementioned U.S. Federal Court.
In November 2019, Oseguera González’s lawyers accused Alejandro Sergio González Bernabé, counselor of the Federal Judiciary, of instructing the magistrates of the Second Collegiate Court in Criminal and Labor Matters of Oaxaca, to deny the amparo to “El Menchito”.
The lawyer Víctor Beltrán García said, on that occasion, that since October 28, 2019, he had presented a letter to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), to reconsider the extradition of “El Menchito”, because the procedure had irregularities, such as the presentation of apocryphal signatures of the U.S. diplomat William Duncan, as well as false statements of protected witnesses.
The litigant assured that on December 11, 2019, the legal term for “El Menchito” to be transferred to U.S. territory expired or, otherwise, he would have to stay in Mexico. But 69 days after that deadline, the Mexican federal government decided to extradite Oseguera González.
The U.S. Government submitted the extradition request for Oseguera González, to its Mexican counterpart, on June 21, 2017, which was granted by the Mexican Foreign Ministry on October 4, 2018. “El Menchito” was notified when he was an inmate in CEFERESO No. 13, located in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, in Oaxaca.
Oseguera González filed an injunction against his surrender, but Adriana Alejandra Ramos León, Eighth District Judge in the State of Oaxaca, denied him the protection of justice, a resolution that was confirmed by the Second Collegiate Court in Criminal and Labor Matters based in the same entity.
According to the newspaper Milenio, neither the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) nor the Federal Judicial Power (PJF) had publicized the lawsuit against the extradition of “El Menchito”, which was filed under file number 363/2019 in the aforementioned federal court.
A few days before the end of Barack Obama’s administration, the Federal Court of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C., ordered the arrest of “El Menchito”. The arrest order was released on December 14, 2019, for possession and use of a firearm.
As well as conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, with knowledge that he would be extradited to the U.S., authorities seek to confiscate all properties, investments, cash and assets in general that are the product of Oseguera González’s criminal activities, according to criminal file 1: 16-cr-00229-BAH, filed in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C.
Known to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) by the aliases “Rubencito,” “El Rojo,” “El Ruso,” “Junior” and “El Niño,” the U.S. justice system attributes these charges to “El Menchito” due to indications that he had been importing and distributing drugs in that country since 2011.
However, in the request for guarantees that was denied by the Second Collegiate Court in Criminal and Labor Matters of Jalisco, Oseguera González alleged that he is not the same person that the U.S. authorities are seeking to convict. In addition to the fact that the penalties that would be imposed in the U.S., such as life imprisonment, are “unusual” and Mexican law does not allow for such punishments.
“[‘El Menchito’] argues that he is not the person that the United States Government is seeking an extradition […] That he is not the son of [‘El Mencho’] but of a different person […] therefore, the statement of [a witness] was used as support to grant his extradition, since it is evident that the witness identified a person other than him […]”, states an excerpt from the amparo filed by Oseguera González.
Oseguera González submitted as evidence a forensic medical expert on anthropometry and identification of a person, and on physiognomic identification by a private expert, which was admitted on July 24, 2017, and was presented on July 6, 2018.
The private expert determined that the digital images of the formal extradition request by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico were technically deficient to carry out a comparative study of the facial features between them and those taken of Rubén Oseguera, when he was an inmate in CEFERESO number 13, in Oaxaca.
For its part, the then Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (PGR) provided as evidence, the expert on physiognomic identification, in which in its report of May 15, 2018, concluded that upon analyzing the physiognomic features, inserted in the photographs to be compared, it was determined that there does exist dimensional, chromatic and morphological correspondence of the facial features, between the persons appearing in the photograph, and with the inmate at that moment in the federal prison located in the municipality of Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, Oaxaca.
On September 6, 2019, “El Menchito” was transferred to the maximum security wing of CEFERESO, number 11, located in Hermosillo, Sonora, as announced by the Federal Government’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC), which explained that, previously, Oseguera González was being held in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation, number 15, in Villa Comaltitlán, in Chiapas.
“The transfer was carried out in full compliance with the inmate’s human rights and based on Article 52 sections I and III of the National Law of Penal Execution, since he has special security measures,” the SSPC detailed in an informative card.
The institution also recalled that Oseguera González has been prosecuted for various crimes and has a pending extradition request from the US government. “The Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection reiterates its commitment to respect the human rights of this and all inmates held in the country’s CEFERESOS,” the SSPC added.
Following the publication of a video on social networks, in which alleged hitmen claimed in July that “El Mencho” was preparing his son’s escape, Oseguera González was transferred from the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco to CEFERESO number 11 in Chiapas.
On August 28, José Reynoso Castillo, eighth District Judge for Federal Criminal Proceedings in the state of Jalisco, acquitted “El Menchito” of the crime of Organized Crime – in the hypothesis of committing crimes against health – and ordered his immediate and absolute release.
However, “El Menchito”, originally from San Francisco, California, United States, had other legal proceedings open in Mexico for other crimes, such as money laundering, violation of the Federal Firearms and Explosives Law, as well as bribery.
At the end of May 2019, despite the sanction imposed by the Federal Judiciary Council (CJF) on a circuit judge for issuing rulings allegedly compromised with organized crime, three magistrates of a Collegiate Court in Criminal Matters granted an injunction to Oseguera González, also known as “Junior”, “2” or “02”.
The collegiate judges revoked the amparo that had been denied by a Unitary Court with residence in Zapopan, Jalisco, and decided to grant the protection of justice in favor of the alleged drug trafficker, who was being prosecuted in two different cases for the crime of organized crime.
The defense of the son of “El Mencho” challenged the formal arrest warrant issued to the young man of U.S. origin [born on February 14, 1990 in the city of San Francisco, California] by the Sixth District Court for Criminal Proceedings in the State of Jalisco, following his arrest on June 23, 2015, and which on appeal was confirmed by the Third Unitary Court of the Third Circuit.