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Man Linked To Reputed Drug Kingpin Missing From Jail

October 30, 1985

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) _ An alleged associate of a reputed drug kingpin charged in the kidnap and murder of a U.S. narcotics agent is missing from the Tijuana Municipal Jail, along with three police officers, the mayor says.

Jose Contreras Subias, 36, was awaiting trial on murder and drug charges stemming from the Nov. 1 killing of Jesus Mata Alvarado, a federal judicial policeman whose body was found on a dirt road a few miles south of Tijuana.

Mexican authorities say Contreras is the right-hand man of Rafael Caro Quintero, who is in custody in Mexico City on charges stemming from the slaying of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena Salazar and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar.

Camarena and Zavala were kidnapped Feb. 7 in Guadalajara, 300 miles northwest of Mexico City. Their battered bodies were found a month later on a ranch 60 miles away.

Contreras disappeared Friday as he was being transferred between the jail and a federal courtroom, where he was to have had a hearing on drug charges, Tijuana Mayor Rene Trevino Arredondo said.

Trevino said jail officials didn’t tell him about the disappearance until Tuesday and that he couldn’t explain the four-day delay.

″I have also asked that question,″ he said.

The two police officers who were escorting Contreras are also missing, along with another municipal police officer assigned to guard prisoners, he said.

Contreras and Quintero were arrested in April near San Jose, Costa Rica. Contreras was flown to Tijuana on April 8 to stand trial.

Trevino said the case has been handed over to the federal office of Ministerio Publico, similar to a district attorney’s office.

″Every investigation and application of the law will be done - and wherever it falls, it falls,″ Trevino said.

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