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Dangerous Mexican Drug Cartel Member Sentenced Behind Locked Doors in Houston

houston-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

At a time when the Justice Department is talking about an open and transparent civilian trial for the 9/11 suspects, this seems all the more unusual.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the public was barred from a sentencing “behind locked doors and armed guards at the federal courthouse downtown” in Houston,  where one of Mexico’s most feared cartel members Osiel Cardenas Guillen was hit Wednesday with  25 years in federal prison. The Associated Press reported that he was also ordered to forfeit $50 million.

He was accused of drug related crimes and threatening to kill a DEA and FBI agent in Mexico 10 years ago.

The paper reported that the judge, Hilda Tagle, issued a gag order and chief defense Attorney Mike Ramsey said, “I can’t comment on anything that didn’t happen.” The Associated Press reported that the judge rejected a request by the media to open the sentencing to the public.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno declined comment as he left the courtroom, the paper reported, but said he later in a statement:

“The successful prosecution of Cardenas-Guillen underscores the joint resolve of the United States and Mexico to pursue and prosecute the leadership of the drug trafficking cartels, dismantle their organizations and end the violence and corruption they have spawned.”

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Time February 25, 2010 at 2:47 am

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