Friday, September 6, 2013

Mexico releases 2 teens jailed for cocaine found in van bought at US gov’t auction

Their nightmare is finally over!

Washington Post reports a federal judge on Friday freed two teenagers were jailed nearly 10 months despite evidence showing that the cocaine that police found in their van may have been hidden in the vehicle before it was bought at a U.S. government auction.

Judge Elenisse Leyva delivered a verdict of not guilty after the prosecutor decided to drop charges, saying the drugs could have been concealed in the secret compartment of the minivan without the teens knowing.

Federal police in November detained Sergio Torres Duarte, 18, and his friend Julio Cesar Moreno, 19, at a checkpoint near the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan, as they traveled to a soccer match. Officers discovered a kilogram of cocaine hidden under the minivan’s dashboard and booked them at a nearby jail.

The Torres family bought the vehicle for $3,900 at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection auction in February 2012. After the young men were arrested, they discovered that the blue 2004 Toyota Sienna had been seized by American authorities in October 2011 for hiding bundles of cocaine.

U.S. officials acknowledged earlier this year in a letter to Mexican prosecutors that they may have failed to find all the drugs in the minivan.

Every brick of drugs confiscated in an inspection at the international bridge in Pharr, Texas had the word “Good” written with a black marker, just like the one seized by Mexican police a year afterward, Torres’ father said. In July, the family began a media campaign to draw attention to what they said was “an error by the U.S.”

More here

Be careful when renting Mini vans if you’re going to Mexico!

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