Former Mexican defense secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country’s army for six years under ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested on drug trafficking and money laundering charges at Los Angeles International Airport, U.S.
and Mexican sources said Thursday.Two people disclosed on the condition of anonymity that Cienfuegos was taken into custody on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warrant but the DEA declined to comment Thursday night.
One of the people said the warrant was for drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, tweet on his Twitter account that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau had informed him of the retired general’s arrest and that Cienfuegos had a right to receive consular assistance.
Another senior Mexican official, said he wasn’t authorized to speak or give details of the arrest but he however spoke on the condition of anonymity. He Said Cienfuegos was arrested when he arrived at the Los Angeles airport with his family but his family members were released and he was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Cienfuegos is 72 years old and has retired from active duty. He served from 2012 to 2018 as secretary of defense under Peña Nieto.