The ex-member of the presidential security team of Lenín Moreno, Heriberto Suárez, appeared before a Criminal Court in Guayaquil and accepted the charges that the Prosecutor’s Office filed against him.
Thus, this Navy ex-Sergeant, arrested on April 14 in an anti-drug operation, resorted to an abbreviated process for the crime of organized crime and was sentenced to 20 months in jail and the payment of 12 basic salaries, that is, USD 4 632.
These details can be found in the judicial file to which this newspaper had access. After the capture, the soldier was designated as part of a criminal organization dedicated to drug trafficking. Therefore, if he did not accept the tax accusations, he could be sentenced to jail for 7 to 10 years, as established in the Penal Code.
The operation against the criminal network that involved the sailor was executed by the Unit Against Traffic for Internal Consumption (UCTCI) of the Police. It started on the night of April 12, but he was apprehended two days later, because he was in Lima (Peru), along with President Moreno, while he was fulfilling an agenda at the Summit of the Americas.
According to the process 09284-2018-01271 of the Judicial Branch, Suárez admitted “the fact that is attributed to him”. After the soldier’s pronouncement, on September 3, Judge Darwing Valencia sent a letter to the Social Rehabilitation Center of Guayaquil stating that the soldier was the perpetrator of the crime investigated.
When the events occurred, General Pedro Mosquera, head of the Presidential Protection Service, confirmed that a member of the presidential escort had been detained for alleged links with networks dedicated to drug trafficking.
The Chief Executive also maintained that the police investigation was underway at that time. Sgt. Suarez was not the only soldier that the agents intercepted in that operation called Impact 135. A report by the National Police revealed that three other active sailors were also captured in that raid.
Another soldier was added to that list in passive service. According to the judicial file, the uniformed ones fulfilled the paper of distributors of the drug and gave security to the illegal loads. According to the investigations, the criminal network sent “large quantities” of drugs to the Netherlands and to Mexico.
These shipments were supposedly made in coordination with the captured seamen. During the operation, executed in Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Jaramijó and Galápagos, police officers seized two tons of marijuana, cell phones and firearms. The investigations of the uniformed ones determined that the illegal substance was transferred from Esmeraldas to Guayaquil, where it was stockpiled for distribution in the city or sent abroad through the seaport.
Together with Heriberto Suárez, another soldier also accepted the abbreviated process. The judicial file tells how his lawyer asked the judicial authorities to consider the minimum penalty in the process. The lawyer made the request, because his client suffers from primary thrombocytopenia (bruising and bleeding), which would make him prone to having leukemia problems.
The case of two other active soldiers is still ongoing. Your next hearing is scheduled for today. As detailed in the court documents, they will also benefit from the abbreviated process, to receive a minimum penalty.
On the other hand, the seafarer in passive service was dismissed on September 3, as the investigators found no evidence against him. This was the first case of soldiers arrested this year for drugs. In August, two more were captured in Sucumbíos, while they transported 220 packages of marijuana.
Last week, however, two soldiers were arrested with a ton of drugs.
On April 18, while giving an interview to NTN of Colombia, Lenin Moreno said that “two days ago a person was identified from my personal safety who was involved in drug trafficking.” He indicated that drug trafficking “is an invisible power”. (I)