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‘Queen of the Pacific’ imprisoned upon return to Mexico

August 20, 2013


Despite having been freed by a court in Miami last month, Sandra Avila Beltran, better known as “La Reina del Pacifico” or the “Queen of the Pacific,” found herself behind bars once again upon returning to Mexico this week.

Deported from Texas on Tuesday, Avila, 52, landed first in Mexico City, where she was presented with an order of apprehension filed by a federal judge in Jalisco. She was then transferred to Guadalajara to face money laundering charges.

Avila stands accused of using illicit funds to pay for two life insurance policies, each worth around four million pesos, her lawyer Jorge Alfonso Espino Santillan revealed last month. After landing in Guadalajara, the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) ordered that she be transferred to El Rincon, a medium-security women’s prison in Nayarit.

An alleged drug kingpin with links to the Sinaloa Federation, Avila was sentenced to 70 months in prison in Miami last month. However, she was immediately eligible for release because she had already served more than five years in a Mexican prison prior to being extradited last year.

“She’s optimistic, positive and in a good mood,” another of her lawyers, Stephen Ralls, told the press as Avila was due to leave the United States on Tuesday.

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