San Diego, CA–An alleged Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker was extradited to the United States from Ecuador on Friday.
On October 19, 2021, a federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of California returned an indictment charging Brayan Alberto Rodriguez Alcala with participating in a long-running worldwide conspiracy to traffic substantial quantities of cocaine, from Central and South America to Mexico and ultimately into the United States, as well as laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds.
Rodriguez Alcala was apprehended by Ecuadorian authorities in November 2021 while visiting Quito, and Ecuador granted the United States’ extradition request in January 2022. He arrived in San Diego this morning and made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal. He is scheduled for a motion hearing/trial setting before Judge Curiel on May 16, 2022, at 1:30 p.m.
“Those who export dangerous narcotics to the United States and seek to evade justice will find no place to hide,” said U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “The Department of Justice appreciates the cooperation of the Ecuadorian authorities in this matter. By working with our law enforcement partners at home and around the world, we will continue to work to dismantle dangerous drug cartels.”
“This extradition sends a resounding message to drug traffickers around the world that the United States law enforcement community will vehemently pursue those who seek to harm to Americans with their deadly drugs and violence.” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz who further praised the efforts of the San Diego Strike Force for their support and contribution to this criminal investigation and extradition.”
“This extradition is another victory against the Sinaloa Cartel that will negatively impact their cocaine distribution operation,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly Howe. “The DEA is committed to holding anyone who profits from drug trafficking accountable, regardless of where they are located in the world.”
“The FBI is proud to work alongside our international and federal partners from HSI, DEA, and IRS to bring wanted persons back to the United States to face justice,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “This collaborative effort should send a message to fugitives worldwide – the United States government’s international reach has no limits. We will continue to use all investigative resources and international law enforcement partnerships to disrupt these transnational criminal organizations. The FBI is grateful for the hardline stance President Guillermo Lasso and the Government of Ecuador have taken against international fugitives.”
“The supply of narcotics illegally crossing our borders, entering our communities, and killing our citizens is completely fueled by greed,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Ryan Korner. “For decades, IRS Criminal Investigation has been committed to working with our law enforcement partners to trace and stem the flow of illicit money to dismantle the drug trade. Today’s extradition of Brayan Rodriguez Alcala, who is charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, demonstrates that you cannot hide from justice.”
The Government of Ecuador, and its prosecutorial and law enforcement authorities for making the extradition possible. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the United States State Department provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Ecuador.
This case is part of a long-running investigation targeting the Valenzuela Transnational Criminal Organization, which is a significant component of the Sinaloa Cartel. To date, the investigation has resulted in the charging of 34 defendants and the seizure of approximately $3.8 million dollars in U.S. currency, 685 kilograms of cocaine, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, and 20,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition.
This prosecution is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations.
The United States is represented in court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Sutton and Mikaela L. Weber
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.