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Mexico To Try Ex-Cop on Drug Charges

August 22, 1999

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ A judge ruled Saturday that there is sufficient evidence to try a former Mexican police commander on charges of both drug dealing and involvement in organized crime.

Oscar Benjamin Garcia Davila, who is also allegedly a member of the Juarez drug cartel, will be held in prison pending trial, according to an order issued by Judge Cuauhtemoc Carlock Sanchez of the Ninth District Court.

The order charges Garcia Davila, a former Judicial Police commander in Quintana Roo State, of committing ``crimes against health,″ a charge Mexico uses in drug cases. Specifically, it accuses him of bringing illicit drugs into the state and of violating the federal law against organized crime.

Garcia Davila was arrested on Aug. 15 in Mexico state, just outside of Mexico City, after a shootout with police.

He was among dozens of people, including government officials and businessmen from the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, named February in sealed arrest warrants for their alleged ties to the Juarez Cartel.

Federal prosecutors have said Garcia Davila served as a liaison between the organization and former Quintana Roo Gov. Mario Villanueva, who fled days before his term ended in April and is wanted by authorities on suspicion of protecting drug traffickers.

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