Photo: Juan de La Cruz Reyna, Gulf Cartel
Juan Carlos De La Cruz Reyna, 37, a high ranking member of the Gulf Cartel, has entered a plea of guilty to bribery of a public official, something he did in order to avoid deportation and face rival narco factions or Mexican authorities.
The charges were filed as De La Cruz Reyna was set to be released from federal prison after serving 30 months for a previous conviction related to an assault against federal agents in Mexico in 1999.
Since De La Cruz Reyna was in the country illegally, after completion of his sentence, he would normally have been returned to Mexican authorities at either a port of entry along the U.S.-Mexican border or flown to the interior of Mexico.
However, fearing possible prosecution by Mexican authorities or being taken into custody by a rival drug cartel, De La Cruz Reyna admitted today he bribed a federal official in an attempt to ensure safe passage to Mexico.
De La Cruz Reyna made a total of $797,000 in bribe payments over the course of the scheme.
The overall bribery scheme primarily involved obtaining De La Cruz Reyna’s unannounced removal to Mexico and release to the Gulf Cartel and to avoid official notification and transfer to the appropriate Mexican federal law enforcement authorities. However, the bribery scheme also involved allowing individuals to visit him in the Atlanta prison while there.