The Miami-based attorney who represented Sandra Avila Beltrán – the flirtatious vixen believed to have run part of the Sinaloa cartel who was released from prison over the weekend by a Mexican judge – says the so-called “Queen of the Pacific” just wants to go home.
“I’m not currently in touch with her,” attorney Stephen G. Ralls told Fox News Latino. “But at this point, I feel certain she wants to reunite with her family and make up for lost time.”
Of course, Avila Beltrán's isn't just any family.
Her family tree includes the former Guadalajara Cartel kingpins Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo.
She was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2007, in connection with the seizure of a boat loaded with more than nine tons of cocaine — the shipment was traced back to her and her then-boyfriend, the Colombian drug lord Juan Diego Espinosa Ramírez, a.k.a., “The Tiger.”
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From the start she got the media's full attention for her good looks and neat presentation.
When police captured Avila Beltrán in a Mexico City café, she asked if she could freshen her makeup, according to the New York Times. Then cameras caught Avila Beltrán, who was wearing tight jeans and stiletto heels, flipping her hair and winking at officers.
The odd behavior continued in prison. A doctor was allowed into her cell to administer Botox injections. And in a “60 Minutes” interview, she complained that not allowing her to receive restaurant deliveries violated her human rights.
Initially charged with trafficking and organized crime, the bigger charges against her were eventually dismissed.
“A lot of the attention was because of the belief that she was a major actor in the [Sinaloa] cartel—the first and most prominent female cartel leader,” Ralls added. “But in fact there has never been any solid evidence that she’s personally been involved in any drug activity.”
Avila Beltrán was extradited to the United States in 2012, and in federal court in Miami—with Ralls at her side—she pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact for Espinosa Ramírez’s drug trafficking ring.
She was sentenced to six years but was credited with time served in Mexican jails.
After being deported back to Mexico in August of 2013, Avila Beltrán was immediately jailed on old charges of money laundering.
Ralls was surprised. “Days before she was released and returned to Mexico,” he said, “the Mexican attorney general said that there were no pending charges against her.”
So for him, her release this weekend was easy to understand.
“I believe the Mexican federal district court judge,” Ralls told FNL, “determined that it was a form of double jeopardy. That the money laundering charges that were levied after her return from the U.S. had already been covered in her original sentence.”
Bill Vourvoulias (@bvourvoulias) is an editor at Fox News Latino.
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