Wife of Former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer in El Paso extradited to the United States from Mexico
EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso woman who fled the country prior to sentencing on federal drug trafficking and bribery charges in 2010 has been extradited to the United States from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John F. Bash; Drug Enforcement Administration El Paso Division Special Agent in Charge Kyle Williamson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., and Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General El Paso Special Agent in Charge Javy Pedroza.
On June 21, 2010, 41-year-old Ana Marie Hernandez, a legal permanent resident in the U.S., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and one count of aiding and abetting the bribery of a public official. By pleading guilty, Hernandez admitted that between June 2005 and October 2005, she conspired with others, including her husband, former DHS Customs and Border Protection Officer Daniel Ledezma, to allow hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. without inspection through the Paso de Norte Port of Entry. For their actions, Hernandez and Ledezma received more than $100,000 in U.S. Currency.
An arrest warrant was issued for Hernandez when she failed to appear for sentencing on Jan. 24, 2011. Yesterday, Hernandez was extradited from Mexico to El Paso. Hernandez, who remains in federal custody, faces between ten years and life in federal prison on the drug trafficking charge and up to ten years in federal prison on the bribery charge.
“Through close and sustained cooperation with our partners in Mexico, we continue to bring fugitives, like Hernandez, to justice,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Williamson. “This extradition shows the tenacity of our law enforcement agents who, for years, continued to pursue Hernandez and sends a message to all who engage in this criminal activity: DEA will relentlessly pursue them, no matter where they are or how long it takes.”
“Starting in 2007, the FBI began aggressively investigating Ana Marie Hernandez, alias Ana Marie Ledezma, alias Lily, due to her efforts to corrupt U.S. law enforcement officials and import drugs from Mexico into the U.S. This extradition once again demonstrates the FBI's commitment to ensuring criminals are brought to justice, whether it takes one month or 10 years,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Buie.
On Jan. 20, 2011, Ledezma was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the same charges in June 2010.
The DEA, FBI, and DHS OIG investigated this case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Marshals Service provided significant assistance in the extradition. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys of the Western District of Texas.