Suspected Sinaloa cartel leader accuses PDEA of extortion
MANILA, Philippines—A suspected leader of the Sinaloa drug syndicate has turned the table against the authorities who arrested him in a buy-bust operation early this month, saying he was a victim of robbery, kidnapping and extortion.
In his seven-page counteraffidavit submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Horacio Herrera said there was no valid arrest that took place on January 11.
“There is no valid arrest but only acts of robbery, kidnapping and extortion,” Herrera said.
“There was a violation of my right against unreasonable search and seizure. The arresting officer has no probable cause to search my person nor any personal knowledge that I have committed, is actually committing or attempting to commit a crime to warrant my arrest,” the counteraffidavit added.
Herrera claimed that the arresting officers tried to extort P7 million from him in exchange for his freedom.
He also denied owning and possessing the two and a half kilos of cocaine allegedly seized from him by the Philippine National Police Anti Illegal Drugs Operations Task Force and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). He said he was forced by the arresting officers to carry the bag containing the illegal drugs.
Herrera stressed that he is not a member of the Sinaloa cartel.
The DOJ gave the PDEA up to February 12 to reply to Herrera’s counteraffidavit.
Investigating State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera also directed the DPEA to submit identification documents to establish the identity of the respondent.
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