An alleged leader of the United Cartels, a Mexican drug cartel, made his first appearance before a federal judge in Miami on Monday to face drug charges following his extradition from Guatemala.
Adalberto Fructuoso Comparan-Rodriguez, who is also the former mayor of Aguililla, Mexico, was arrested in Guatemala in March 2021 and extradited to the U.S. A grand jury returned an indictment the following month charging him with drug trafficking crimes.
Prosecutors say Comparan-Rodriguez and Alfonso Rustrian, another Mexican national, met a drug trafficker associated with the terrorist group Hezbollah in Colombia in January 2021. Rustrian told the drug trafficker he and Comparan-Rodriguez could supply hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine, according to the allegations.
The men allegedly agreed to send around 1,100 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico, through Texas, to the Miami area.
Cartel members hid the drugs in different materials to make them undetectable. A truck carrying concrete tiles filled with methamphetamine arrived in Miami in March 2021. Comparan-Rodriguez’s son, Adalberto Fructose Comparan-Bedolla, is accused of helping crack the concrete tiles open and removing around 440 pounds of methamphetamine.
The remainder of the meth – approximately 660 pounds – arrived in Miami a week later, where it was dissolved within five-gallon buckets of house paint, according to court documents.
Comparan-Bedolla and two chemists worked for days inside a warehouse to extract the meth from the paint, prosecutors said. Law enforcement seized the meth before it hit the streets and arrested the men involved.