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Former Chief of Federal Security Arrested For Laundering Drug Money

September 19, 1986

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) _ The former head of the federal security police in three northern Mexico states was arrested on police charges of laundering money for a drug lord, officials said Friday.

Rafael Aguilar Guajardo was transfered to this border city Thursday and is in custody, said Guillermo Gonzalez Calderon, commander of the federal judicial police in Juarez.

″I can’t tell you any more because this matter is still under investigation, ″ said Gonzalez Calderon.

He added that six other people had been arrested along with Aguilar. He declined to reveal their names, saying only that ″they are all big fish.″

Jose Quinonez, federal district attorney in Juarez, said results of the investigation would be turned over to his office, which could file formal charges against Aguilar.

Aguilar was arrested in Torreon, in the state of Coahuila, on Tuesday by dozens of agents with the federal judicial police armed with machine guns and high-powered rifles, the Diario de Juarez newspaper reported Friday.

The chief of the federal police in Torreon, Manuel Gallardo Rios, said Aguilar said at the time of his arrest that he had ″fixed his problems with highly placed officials.″

Aguilar was head of the security force in the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila until 18 months ago. Rafael Caro Quintero was arrested last year in connection with the kidnapping and death of Enrique Camarena Salazar, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Aguilar allegedly laundered Caro Quintero’s drug profits, investing the money into legal businesses to conceal its origin, said Gallardo Rios. Police said Aguilar had lived in Houston in the last few weeks and returned to Mexico recently.

U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese announced Thursday he will meet with Mexican officials next month to discuss the status of investigations into the Camarena case. Meese said he would also discuss last month’s detention and, according to U.S. officials, torture, of Victor Cortez Jr., another DEA agent.

In San Diego this week, Mexican officials arrested a possible material witness to the Camarena murder. Prosecutors are attempting to have the man testify before a federal grand jury in the United States investigating the case.

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