Embassy Says Alleged Drug Kingpin Charged Missing Americans Case
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ A man who police have identified as one of Mexico’s major drug traffickers has been charged with the murder and abduction of two missing Americans, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.
The Mexican Attorney General’s Office informed the embassy that Rafael Caro Quintero and unidentified accomplices were indicted May 15 in the western state of Jalisco in connection with the case, the spokesman said Thursday.
Americans John Walker, an Army veteran from Minneapolis, and Alberto Radelat of Fort Worth, Texas were last seen Jan. 30 in Guadalajara, capital of Jalisco state and a major drug trafficking center. The men were believed to be in their late 20s or early 30s.
The embassy spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the embassy has not yet seen the indictment, issued by Judge Ramon Soltero Guzman of the 7th Criminal Court in Guadalajara. The Attorney General’s Office gave the information to Larry Lane, the U.S. consul general in Mexico City.
U.S. officials said earlier that they had little hope that the two were still alive.
U.S. Ambassador John Gavin said in April that Mexican authorities were holding three witnesses who reportedly saw Walker and Radelat abducted in Guadalajara on Jan. 30.
The embassy said earlier that the witnesses’ deposition indicated the Americans may have been mistaken for U.S. drug investigators. Eve Walker, the missing American’s wife, told reporters earlier this year that her husband had been writing a murder mystery with a plot involving cocaine smuggling and had been doing research for a second book about drug trafficking.
The witnesses told authorities they saw the Americans enter a restaurant, and later saw their bloodied bodies taken out of the establishment, Gavin said. The restaurant was owned by Caro Quintero, and his associates were reportedly holding a party at the time the men entered.
Caro Quintero was captured April 4 at an estate in Costa Rica and was charged later in April in the kidnap-slaying of Enrique Camarena Salazar, the U.S. special drug enforcement agent who was abducted in Guadalajara on Feb. 7. The bodies of Camarena and a Mexican pilot who worked with him were found March 5.
Four other Americans who were in Guadalajara have been missing since early December. They are Benjamin and Patricia Mascarenas of Ely, Nev., and Dennis and Rose Carlson of Redding, Calif.