A U.S. Marine Corps veteran with dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship was indicted in a San Diego court Friday for his alleged role in a massive cocaine operation that stretched from South America to the U.S., according to court records.
Angel Dominguez Ramirez Jr., a former Marine with combat experience, rose to power as a reputed drug kingpin by building cooperative alliances with rival Mexican drug cartels and paying off government officials, according to his indictment.
Prosecutors said Dominguez’s drug operation distributed cocaine through a pipeline into the U.S. through California and Texas, then moved the proceeds through a reverse pipeline back south.
Investigators arrested 41 people and seized 5,000 kilograms of cocaine and more than $9 million in cash in connection with the case, authorities said.
U.S. authorities got wind of Dominguez after wiretapped communications revealed that a top Mexican police commander who served as a liaison with U.S. law enforcement officials was leaking information to the cartels.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents discovered the alleged leaker’s name – Ivan Reyes Arzate – while intercepting a call between Dominguez and another drug trafficker, authorities said. Friday’s indictment said Dominguez relied heavily on Reyes for information on a DEA investigation that overlapped San Diego and Chicago.
Dominguez was arrested in Mexico in 2016 and is awaiting extradition to the U.S., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The following year in Chicago, Reyes surrendered to authorities and received a 40-month prison sentence, the report said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a recent court, cited by the Union-Tribune, that the investigation into Dominguez’s organization revealed “an unprecedented level of corruption within the Mexican government, local police departments, federal police agencies and the military.”