No house arrest allowed for Mexican drug suspects

Two Mexican drug smuggling suspects will not be awaiting the remainder of the judicial process under house arrest.

A judge in Pavas Friday ruled that the pair should spend four months more in prison because the security ministry cannot find a location to comply with the ruling of another judge May 10. The earlier ruling noted that the men had been in custody since Oct. 11 and that the case was not progressing rapidly.

The suspects are Rubén Martinez Trujillo and Elvis Mendoza Rivera, who operated an air transport business in Pavas until one of their planes crashed because it was overloaded with cocaine.

The judge’s order allowing the men to await trial under house arrest angered neighbors in Moravia where the men planned to stay. The neighbors paraded in the street with signs, flags and a chain to protest the placement of the men in their community. In all, three locations were considered, and each time the plan ran into opposition.

But the major opposition came form the security ministry, which said that the cost of providing round-the-clock guards for the men would be a budget buster. There also was a concern that the men were a flight risk and that possible associates from México might try to free them violently.

The men’s original lawyer was pulled from the case by a judge after a policeman testified that the lawyer approached him and tried to get him to change his story about how the men were arrested near the Nicaraguan line. The lawyer subsequently filed a slander case against the policemen further confusing the case, according to a report Friday.

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