SAN DIEGO — A federal prosecutor told a U.S. district judge Monday that he was not aware of any government involvement in the alleged kidnaping of an accused Mexican drug trafficker.
Judge J. Lawrence Irving said he would order the government to preserve all evidence in its possession pertaining to the alleged kidnaping of Rene Martin Verdugo.
Verdugo is charged with smuggling about a ton of marijuana from Tucson, Ariz., to Vista, Calif., in 1983. Drug Enforcement Administration officials and officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City have said that Verdugo also may have information about the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, who they say was ordered killed by Mexican drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico, in February, 1985.
Verdugo claimed at a court appearance last month that he was kidnaped on Jan. 24 near San Felipe, Baja California, by six men who handcuffed and blindfolded him before driving him to Mexicali. At Mexicali, he claimed, they shoved him through a hole in the border fence into the arms of waiting U.S. marshals.