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Mexican Border State Mayor Sentenced to U.S. Prison for Passport Fraud

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City of Bácum
ROBERT ARCE

A Mexican mayor from the northern border state of Sonora was given a 15-month prison sentence in the U.S. for passport fraud Monday. The politician was previously accused of having cartel ties.

The recently elected and now former Bácum mayor, Roberto Aboyte Limón, will serve 15 months in U.S. prison after attempting an illegal crossing into Arizona with a passport not his own on December 27, 2018. During examination after his entry, it was determined that Aboyte Limón failed to disclose a prior arrest for cocaine trafficking. Court records indicate that Aboyte Limón attempted to enter the U.S. under the name “Jaime Fernando Bautista,” but when his true identity was discovered, it was determined that he was previously convicted and sentenced to 84 months in a U.S. prison under a third name, Raúl López Montaño.

Aboyte Limón has since been replaced by Francisco Javier Villanueva Gaxiola. Court records indicate that Aboyte Limón attempted to cross into the U.S. with his family to visit Disneyland. He is a member of the Morena party, led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

Bácum made headlines in September 2018 when police discovered seven heads abandoned in an ice chest–sparking fears of an escalating cartel turf war. The municipality is in southern Sonora and is one of eight towns that make up the territory traditionally inhabited by the Yaqui Tribe. The area provides easy access to drug trafficking routes to the U.S. markets.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)

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