Mexican federal authorities arrested a high-level female drug trafficker linked who used her good looks to seduce major narcotic smugglers to associate themselves with her, while her ex husband – a U.S. customs agent, allowed for the shipments to go through the U.S. border inspection lane he was assigned to, local news media reported Thursday.
The Mexican woman and alleged drug queenpin has been identified as Ana Marie “La Muñeca” Hernandez, 38, was detained in the northern state of Chihuahua after two years of evading justice in the United States where she is wanted for smuggling thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States.
Ana Marie “La Muñeca” Hernandez (Photo: PGR)
Some reports have linked her to fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel that reportedly has expanded their business from Latin America and the United States to Asia, Europe and Africa.
"Beautiful women are highly coveted by the cartel leaders, they bring them into the fold and a lot of times have relationships with them," Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, told mySA.com. "They use them because they have the ability to infiltrate the United States and develop ties and distribution tentacles here."
Vigil added that he believes Hernández had some sort of relationship with "El Chapo," given that she worked her way up through the ranks of the Sinaloa Cartel and also given the drug lord’s love of gorgeous women.
"One thing we know about Chapo Guzman is his love of beautiful women," he said.
La Muñeca or The Doll, according to Fox News, is known for her luxurious lifestyle and extensive ties to senior Mexican cartel leaders, and for attempting to bribe U.S. Marshals.
Hernandez managed to flee U.S. authorities in Texas after pleading guilty to drug smuggling and bribery charges in 2013 in El Paso. It is not clear how she escaped into Mexico.
She and her ex-husband Daniel Ledezma, a former border inspection agent, are accused in Texas of smuggling tons of cocaine through a border crossing point in El Paso and then allegedly distributed the drug in at least Chicago, St. Louis and parts of Florida, according to My San Antonio news outlet.
The Mexican General Attorney's office (PGR) received a request by U.S. authorities in March of this year for her arrest and extradition back to the United States. The PGR is expected to send her to the U.S.
Vigil said that in his opinion Hernandez’s arrest and expected extradition could be a Washington's pressure on Mexico to recapture Guzman, who escaped from a high security prison July 11.
"The Mexican government is using these extraditions to keep pressure off their back until they are able to capture 'El Chapo,'" Vigil said.
In September, 13 high-level drug traffickers, including former Beltran Leyva cartel member Edgar Valdez Villarreal, aka "La Barbie," were extradited to the United States, a move that drug war writer Jose Reveles assures is a consequence of El Chapo's escape, according to Fox News.
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