WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday declined to release the son of a fugitive Mexican drug kingpin pending the start of the son’s narcotics trial.
Federal prosecutors had argued last week that Ruben Oseguera was a obvious flight risk and should remain in custody. Oseguera, who was extradited overnight from Mexico before his initial court appearance on Friday, had requested extra time in order to hire a lawyer.
The new defense lawyer, Danny Onorato, opted not to oppose the government’s position, clearing the way for Oseguera’s trial to begin this Friday.
Oseguera, 30, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine and meth, and use of a firearm in commission of a drug trafficking offense. If convicted, he faces at least 15 years in prison.
His father is Nemesio Oseguera, also known as “El Mencho,” is the reputed head of a Jalisco New Generation drug cartel. Nemesio Oseguera remains a fugitive; the U.S. government offering $10 million for information leading to his arrest.
The younger Oseguera, known as “El Menchito,” was arrested in 2015 and spent several years fighting extradition.
Federal prosecutor Brett Reynolds told the court last week that Jalisco New Generation is considered by the United States to be “one of the largest, most dangerous drug cartels” and that Ruben Oseguera constituted a “serious flight risk” and should remain in government custody.