Mexico Arrests ICE "Most Wanted"
D.C. (ICE) — A man arrested in Mexico January 27 has been positively
identified as Jose Alvarez-Tostado, a.k.a. “El Compadre,”
one of ICE’s “Ten Most Wanted” fugitives.
States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles is expected to file
papers with the government of Mexico seeking extradition of the
49-year-old. Mexican authorities arrested Alvarez in Guadalajara
late last week on charges in Mexico relating to organized crime
and money laundering.
was designated as a “Foreign Narcotics Kingpin” by
President Bush in June 2001, has been one of ICE’s Ten Most
Wanted fugitives for seven years. He was indicted in May 1998
in Los Angeles for operating a continuing criminal enterprise;
money laundering and conspiracy to launder money; and conspiracy
to aid and abet the distribution of a controlled substance.
to the U.S. indictment, Alvarez served as the de facto financial
manager of Mexico’s Juarez drug cartel, collecting and laundering
millions of dollars from cartel drug sales in cities across the
United States. Among other things, the indictment alleges that
Alvarez collected more than $40 million from drug sales and transferred
the funds to Mexican accounts on behalf of the late Amado Carrillo
Fuentes, the reputed chief of the Juarez drug cartel.
one of 112 individuals indicted in an undercover ICE investigation
called “Operation Casablanca.” When Operation Casablanca
culminated in May 1998, it was considered the largest drug money
laundering investigation in U.S. history. Launched in 1995, the
investigation targeted professional money launderers for Colombia’s
Cali drug cartel and Mexico’s Juarez drug cartel, as well
as numerous Mexican and Venezuelan bankers who helped launder
their drug proceeds.
Casablanca ultimately resulted in the seizure of more than $100
million and the arrest of more than 160 individuals, including
dozens of Mexican and Venezuelan bankers.