There is confirmation tonight that alleged Guatemalan drug dealer Otoniel Turcios Marroquin was caught in San Ignacio this past Monday. We can also confirm that Turcios has been handed over to the DEA and flown out of the country without a court hearing for his expulsion. There was no official word from the police, nor will there be, we are told, even though the arrest has been widely reported in the Guatemalan press. Turcios has been on the run since 2006. He was on the DEA’s wanted list for allegedly importing more than one thousand two hundred pounds of cocaine into the US. The detention of the big fish is sensational because he had been living legally with his family in San Ignacio since August. From what we know he was flagged down by police on Monday afternoon while in his vehicle with his family, including his wife and eight month old child. The wife and child were released but Turcios was taken into custody and then handed over to Belmopan police. Today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, Turcios lawyers made an application for writ of habeas corpus, asking the government to produce the suspect. The GOB attorneys could not and disclosed that he was expelled on Tuesday, October twenty-sixth. The court also heard that the Minister of Defence Carlos Perdomo signed the expulsion order on the same day. Turcios’ attorneys also produced two affidavits, including one from Turcios signed October twenty-seventh. According to the attorneys, the (quote) “official kidnapping” (unquote) was illegal because there was no due process for the Guatemalan national before he was released into the arms of the DEA. They also say they were given the run around and will now be seeking compensation on his behalf. The Judge asked the Commissioner of Police Crispin Jefferies to produce an affidavit on who escorted the suspect, when he was expelled, the mode of transportation, and the date and time of expulsion as well as where he was taken. But the question that also begs an answer is if Turcios was expelled on the twenty-sixth, why is there an affidavit from him dated the twenty-seventh? Maybe that will be forthcoming when the COMPOL produces the required information on Monday. For historical background, in 2003 George Herbert was similarly handed over to the DEA by local law enforcement officials. The Supreme Court declared this to be unconstitutional and ordered the return of Herbert. He was never returned. Herbert was represented by Dean Barrow, now Prime Minister.

Channel 5