Ex-Tamaulipas official accused of money-laundering to face justice in the U.S.
The U.S. and Mexico have agreed that a former Mexican politician recently arrested in Italy and accused of laundering drug money in San Antonio will face justice here first.
Both the U.S. and Mexico have said they’re seeking extradition of Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, the former governor of the border state Tamaulipas who was arrested in Florence, Italy, earlier this month. Yarrington faces charges in both countries, including counts of drug trafficking conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering conspiracy in Brownsville. Prosecutors there allege he laundered bribe money in the U.S. through South Texas real estate purchases. The former governor has denied the charges.
In a joint statement Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Mexican Attorney General Raúl Cervantes Andrade said the U.S. will have precedence if Italy agrees to extradite Yarrington.
“The United States and Mexico have agreed that upon the conclusion of the U.S. prosecution of Yarrington, and upon a determination of extraditability pursuant to the U.S.-Mexico extradition treaty, he will be temporarily surrendered to Mexico so that he may be brought to justice for the offenses charged against him there,” the statement reads.
Yarrington faces up to life in prison on the U.S. charges.
Mexico claimed responsibility immediately after Yarrington’s arrest, but Italy released a statement giving credit to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Both the U.S. and Mexico have since said it was a joint effort between the three countries.