Texas Prosecutors Indict Former Mexican Governor
Federal prosecutors in Texas have announced the indictment of the former governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba is accused of money laundering, racketeering, drug smuggling and other related crimes following a three-year investigation. The indictment was unsealed this week in Browsville, Texas.
Yarrington was the governor of the Mexican border state from 1999 to 2004. Tamaulipas borders Texas from Brownsville to Laredo.
Prosecutors say Yarrington received millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and in return allowed drug traffickers to bring large amounts of cocaine into the United States. The indictment also alleges that after his tenure ended he was involved in trafficking drugs from 2007 to 2009.
He is accused of collecting bribes and was involved in acquiring assets in the U.S. such as bank accounts and properties. The indictment says the former governor used stolen funds to buy a private jet while he was governor.
The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture. Some of the assets and property named in the indictment are already seized by the United States, including 46 acres in San Antonio.
Yarrington’s attorney says his client was surprised by the indictment and says it is based on false accusations and political motivations.
He is not in the custody of U.S. law enforcement and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Another man, Fernando Cano Martinez, was indicted with the former governor. He is accused of paying bribes to Yarrington. Authorities say Martinez would purchase property for Yarrington using phony identities.
Indictments were unsealed last week against two other former Mexican government officials. They are accused embezzling funds from Mexico and moving them into U.S. and other offshore banks.
Updated 12/4/2013 at 12:40 p.m.