Local November 12, 2012 | 9:07 am

Dominican official again calls for probe of ex US Ambassador in drugs case

Santo Domingo.- An “unexplained” repeal of the request to extradite Puerto Rican kingpin Jose David Figueroa Agosto years before he was finally arrested should cause Washington and Santo Domingo to launch an investigation in to U.S. ambassador Hans Hertell, named by one of the convicts in the case as present, together with other U.S. diplomats, in a upscale restaurant where he first met the capo “Junior Capsula,” as he is known in his native country

The statement from Government Ethics director Marino Vinicio Castillo refers to the case of Quirino Paulino, recently revived with the arrest and extradition request for retired general Francisco Hiraldo Guerrero, also allegedly linked to Figueroa.

The official has made repeated calls to investigate Hertell’s alleged links to Figueroa. “A convict in the Figueroa case testified that he met Junior Capsula through Hertell. Figueroa forged ties with middle and upper class sectors.”

To describe the magnitude of the case, Castillo noted that more than 100 FBI agents were sent to Puerto Rico to arrest 138 police agents in the case which included other drug kingpins of the island. “Can you imagine a C5A (Galaxy military cargo plane) landing with more than 100 FBI agents to go after those 138 cops.”

“The big fish in the Figueroa case, those who supported that structure, are now the subject of a possible Senate hearing in Washington,” the official said when asked if Figueroa could’ve been a DEA double agent. “They are extremely zealous of their duty, but to leave an individual (undercover) since 2001, I don’t think so.”

He said however that during the time of the Figueroa and Paulino cases there was a break down of U.S. logistics. “There are books written by former FBI agents which reveal that the U.S. abandoned the war on drugs in Latin America completely, there were only 24 agents from 2004 to 2008, then Paulino was nabbed.“

“But then all of a sudden the country can access the Super Tucanos (intercept) planes, Rosso is talking,” he said, in reference to ex Navy captain Carlos Rossó Peña awaiting prosecution in Puerto Rico.

The official discarded providing further details on the case of Paulino, now being held in an undisclosed location in the U.S.

“I can’t imagine what the US is doing holding Paulino for eight years, there must be a lot of papers which resulted,” from his plea bargaining.

Castillo, interviewed on Colorvision Channel 9 on Monday, added that New York South District Court judge Kimba Wood “must be busy listening to the prosecution because they are still producing arrest warrants and requests for extradition.

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