3 Mexicans face drug charges

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

THREE suspected members of the notorious Mexican Sinaloa drug syndicate were slapped with charges on Tuesday before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to the drug bust inside the farm owned by the Leviste political clan in Batangas.

Charged by the Philippine National Police (PNP) were Carlos Isaac Ochoa, alias "Ochoa"; Jaime Ibarra Sanchez, alias "Jaime"; and a certain "Fernando Jose" for allegedly violating sections 6 and 11 of Article II of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and Section 28 of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms.

The PNP-Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) said the three are associates of Jorge Torres, who rented the one-hectare LPL Ranch in Lipa City where authorities seized 84 kilos of shabu worth P420 million on Christmas Day.

The Mexicans are still at large.

Results of police surveillance from October to November last year showed the three are also connected with alleged mid-level Sinaloa drug dealer Horacio Hernandez.

Hernandez, who came to the Philippines last October 28, was allegedly ordered to establish the cartel's operations here through the help of Gary Tan, who was among those nabbed in the raid and currently facing charges at the DOJ.

The PNP said the group was selling a kilo of shabu for P1.2 million and ephedrine for P320,000.

It added that the Mexicans transferred the contrabands from one room to another inside a hotel/suite in Greenhills, San Juan City.

Interestingly, the illegal drugs they held for weeks were the same P420 million worth of shabu confiscated from Tan and Filipino couple Argay and Rochelle Argenos.

Members of the Leviste family, particularly former Batangas governor Antonio Leviste, had already denied knowledge of the illegal drug operations in the ranch.

The ex-politician, who was convicted for killing his aide in 2007, was released on parole last December but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima warned of sending him back to prison if proven that he had involvement in the criminal activity. (Sunnex)

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