Quepos scandal involved a judicial agent and a quantity of drugs

An arrest Monday has revealed another drug scandal in the judiciary. This time the principal suspect was an agent with the Judicial Investigating Organization.

That man, identified by the last name of Ulate, is out of reach now because he committed suicide a month ago. But agents detained Monday a woman associate in downtown Quepos. The allegation is money laundering.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the investigation was done by the Sección de Estupefacientes y Legitimación de Capitales, based in San José, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The allegation is that Ulate used his position as a judicial agent to take over a quantity of drugs, which he then sold. The money was used to invest in properties in conjunction with the woman suspect.

The agents said that they confiscated a vehicle and a motorcycle and placed annotations on three properties to prevent their sale. These are presumed to be the product of the crime. The couple also are accused of using the money to bankroll a small lending operation.

Agents said they were following the case for two years. There was no immediate indication that the man killed himself because he feared arrest.

The woman, however, tried to flee Monday, judicial agents said. She was detained and placed in handcuffs. She was not named.

The Corte Suprema de Justicia has set up a high-level investigative panel to explore the infiltration of drug dealers and smugglers into the judiciary. That came after a judge in Limón was accused two weeks ago of using her influence to adjust legal proceedings for those facing drug charges.

The Judicial Investigating Organization also is an agency of the courts under the Costa Rican legal system.

Handcuffed woman in white blouse is led to a vehicle in Quepos.

Handcuffed woman in white blouse is led to a vehicle in Quepos.

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