Local January 3, 2011 | 7:39 am

Major trafficker flaunted wealth in ritzy Dominican clubs

Santo Domingo. – Yubel Mendez (Oreganito), extradited discretely on Thursday, didn’t try to keep a low profile in the Dominican Republic despite the arrest warrant order issued by a U.S. court in 2007, on charges of trafficking large shipments of drugs to the United States and Europe.

News source eldia.com.do says Mendez’s arrest came only after strong pressure by the U.S. Drugs Enforcement Administration, since he continued to traffic drugs on a large scale, forged bonds with senior Police and Armed Forces officials, and flaunted his wealth in public, including some of the capital’s most exclusive wine and cigar clubs.

Once in the U.S. Mendez was taken immediately before New York South District federal judge Paul A. Crotty for arraignment in the case, involving more than 1,000 kilos of cocaine.

Local view

But despite the local Antinarcotics Agency’s (DNCD) affirmation that he was the last lieutenant of the Puerto Rican kingpin Jose Figueroa still on the loose when his arrest took place, there’s no mention of him and that he in fact heads a drug trafficking ring and “not anybody’s lieutenant.”

It said Mendez’s properties were worth more than RD$5.0 billion (US$135 million), mostly in real estate.

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