HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Mexico Arrests Alleged 'Amphatamine King'
Pubdate: Fri, 04 May 2001
Source: Reuters (Wire)
Copyright: 2001 Reuters Limited
Author: Kieran Murray


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican police arrested on Thursday an alleged
drug lord accused of joining forces with his two brothers to smuggle
huge quantities of synthetic drugs into the United States.

President Vicente Fox (news - web sites) said Adan Amezcua, dubbed
along with his brothers as Mexico's ``kings of amphetamines,'' was
arrested and was joining his two elder brothers behind bars.

``This is truly a great arrest now that the three Amezcua brothers are
in jail,'' Fox said in comments made during a visit to Washington and
broadcast by Mexican radio stations.

``This is really another great battle against drug trafficking in
Mexico,'' Fox said.

Luis and Jose Amezcua were arrested in 1998 and U.S. authorities have
requested their extradition on charges that they dominated the
lucrative trade in smuggling amphetamines, or ``speed,'' into the
United States.

Adan Amezcua served a U.S. prison term between 1993 and 1995 for
conspiring to transport amphetamines, and was arrested in 1997 in
Mexico but later released for lack of evidence.

Mexico's Attorney General's office (PGR) said Adan Amezcua's most
recent arrest was for charges of using goods and money of illicit
origin and criminal association.

Amezcua said in an interview with TV broadcaster Televisa, however,
said he is just a rancher and unsure why he is being persecuted.

``It's the third time they've tried me for the same crime,'' Amezcua
told Televisa from the prison where he has been detained. ``There is
no cartel. ... They have not proved anything.''

Adan Amezcua was widely believed to be less of a player in the drugs
trade than his two brothers, but Fox on Thursday described him as a
``capo grande'', or a major drug lord.

The Amezcua's so-called Colima cartel was among the largest in Mexico
and specialized in ``speed'' while the others focused on cocaine.

The brothers imported chemical ingredients from Europe, India and
Pakistan through Mexican ports on both coasts for the synthetically
made drug and later moved the finished product across the U.S. border
through the border city of Tijuana, according to the PGR.

Adan Amezcua, who was detained in the western state of Jalisco, is
believed by the PGR to have directed the drug's production at
clandestine laboratories.

But the Colima cartel -- named for the western Mexican state where the
Amezcuas were based -- has lost some of its prominence since the first
two brothers were arrested.

Since taking office last December, Fox has promised to work closely
with the U.S. government in cracking down on the drug cartels.

He has already developed a close friendship with President Bush and
was in Washington on Thursday.

Luis Amezcua was accused of ordering the 1999 murder of Mexican
television variety host Francisco ``Paco'' Stanley. Prosecutors
alleged that Amezcua ordered the hit because Stanley owed him large
amounts of money for drugs.

But the case against Amezcua and other suspects in the case --
including Stanley's on-screen sidekick -- later collapsed. The other
suspects were released but Amezcua remained in jail on
money-laundering charges linked to his alleged drug smuggling business.
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