Drugs are behind yanked visas, retirement of at least 10 generals, lawyer says
NEW YORK. - The United States cancelled the visas of more than 10 now retired generals, for their alleged link to the case of ex Army captain Quirino Paulino, but which the government will never divulge, said the lawyer of the detainee being held in a federal prison facility in Manhattan.

Felix Olivares and Freddy Castillo, who represent Paulino said of the more than 10 generals some have already been retired and "in the shadows" and others relieved of their command duties.

They affirmed that those officers would also have to be extradited to the United States “because all those who’ve incurred in criminal activities which affect Washington will possibly have to be brought."

Castillo said regardless of who or what Paulino mentions as part of his plea-bargaining with federal prosecutors, “it’s information for the American government to do with what it considers pertinent for its best interests."

“What Quirino (Paulino) has told American justice will not necessarily lead to an extradition request. They’ll ask for those they wish in the measure which fits their particular interests,” he said, noting however that “if the United States government requests them you can be sure they’ll have to come."

Castillo said the group in which Paulino was "a peon" remains intact and as an example noted the massive proliferation of drugs in the Dominican Republic and Latin America, for which he rejected allegations that the ex captain headed an international ring, calling it political manipulation by the government. “Quirino turned out to be one more of the many who do that business in Dominican Republic and it has been proven that he wasn’t the head of any organization as has been said."

 

Another related article from DominicanToday on March 9:

Santo Domingo.- The United States will reportedly question Prisons director, retied general Manuel de Jesus Perez, for the hundreds of phone calls on drug trafficking operations allegedly made from Dominican jails, as the alleged involvement of some of the country’s generals in drug trafficking now focuses on “lists.”

News source 7dias.com.do reports that an investigator revealed that the United States will request nine generals in extradition for their link to the Quirino Paulino case and published a list of the senior military officers wanted in the U.S. for their involvement in drug trafficking.

Another news source elnuevodiario.com.do, reports that the recently retired Perez is also on the list of officials who would be called to testify by the U.S. Congress, on drug trafficking operations directed from the country’s jails.

“There are more than 300 open investigations on Dominican narcotics traffickers, with recordings in the USA, which leave from Dominican jails and US lawmakers don’t know how those people, accused of drug trafficking, are held in Dominican jails,” said the Web site’s source. It said an investigation found that inmates accused of drug trafficking have as many as 10 cell phones in their cells.

As to the military who’ll be extradited to the U.S., the source said prosecutors  in Miami, New York and Puerto Rico have already prepared the indictments.

It said the action stems from pressure by the defense of Paulino, who entered into plea bargaining and is being held in a Manhattan federal facility.

In a phone interview from Washington by CDN Radio, the source said the Paulino case involves 147 military, who have yet to be “touched” by anybody. “They haven’t even been pinched.”

It also revealed that of the 31 generals recently placed on retirement, nine face indictments in the U.S. and five still active will be called by Congress. “There’s a list  of five active military who will be called by the U.S. Congress to explain the situation  of the military related to drug trafficking in the Dominican Republic.”

Although the source didn’t produce the names, they clarified that Perez isn’t on the alleged extradition list.

Perez Sanchez reacts

Prisons director said he’s ready to collaborate with other authorities “in any country  in the world” in the was on drug trafficking, with prior authorization by his superiors.

 

Go back | Date: 09 Mar 2010
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