Former Mexican Defense Secretary Denied Bail in U.S. Drug Case

Mexican Army
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

A federal judge in California denied bond for the former Mexican Secretary of Defense after his arrest on drug conspiracy charges. The former official will now be moved to New York until his trial at a later date.

During a streamed hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alexander MacKinnon ordered Salvador “El Padrino” Cienfuegos be held without bond due to flight risk. The judge first heard arguments over a $750,000 bond requested by Cienfuegos’ attorney.

Federal authorities arrested Cienfuegos last week in California as he landed with his family for a vacation. The Mexican general is named on an indictment accusing him of drug conspiracy charges. Federal prosecutors alleged that in his role as a top military official tasked with fighting cartels, Cienfuegos worked closely with the Beltran Leyva Cartel (identified as “H2 Cartel”) and leaked sensitive U.S. law enforcement information.

Cienfuegos is the highest-ranking Mexican military officer to ever face drug charges in a U.S. court. His arrest comes months after federal authorities arrested Mexico’s former top law enforcement official, Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna. In a separate case, U.S. authorities alleged that Garcia Luna and at least three other peers took millions in bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel to protect their operations.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at     


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