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Mexico's former public security head is convicted in the U.S. of taking cartel bribes

Mexico's Secretary of Public Safety Genaro García Luna attends a news conference on the sidelines of an American Police Community meeting in Mexico City, Oct. 8, 2010. The former Mexican presidential cabinet member was convicted in the U.S. on Tuesday of taking massive bribes to protect the violent drug cartels he was tasked with combating.
Marco Ugarte
/
AP
Mexico's Secretary of Public Safety Genaro García Luna attends a news conference on the sidelines of an American Police Community meeting in Mexico City, Oct. 8, 2010. The former Mexican presidential cabinet member was convicted in the U.S. on Tuesday of taking massive bribes to protect the violent drug cartels he was tasked with combating.

Mexico's former public security secretary, Genaro García Luna, has been found guilty of drug trafficking.

He is the highest-ranking Mexican official ever to be tried in the United States.

García Luna, who headed Mexico's federal police and became the country's top public safety official between 2006 and 2012, has been on trial in a federal district court in Brooklyn, N.Y.

He stood accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the very drug cartels he was supposed to be cracking down on.

He pleaded not guilty, but several drug traffickers gave testimony that García Luna was in fact on the payroll for Mexico's most powerful criminal organization, the Sinaloa Cartel.

Witnesses said that García Luna oversaw police tipping off traffickers about upcoming raids and worked to allow cocaine to pass freely through the country, The Associated Press reported. They said he colluded with cartels to raid rivals, among other favors.

A former smuggler said García Luna shared a document containing U.S. law enforcement information about a 2007 seized cocaine shipment, the AP reported.

He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life.

García Luna was convicted on charges including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, cocaine distribution and cocaine conspiracy, the AP reported. His sentencing is scheduled for June 27.

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