GOP lawmaker 'deeply concerned' by release of drug kingpin in Mexico

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“As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I am a fervent supporter of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation, and want to continue partnering with the Mexican government to combat the scourge of drug-trafficking and associated violence,” Salmon said.

“The release of this drug kingpin whom U.S. authorities believe continued to run money laundering operations from behind prison bars, raises very serious questions about the foundation of the Mexican justice system, even as Mexico implements judicial reforms.”

The House Appropriations panel last month approved $148 million to combat organized crime and drug-trafficking in Mexico. The spending bill awaits action in the House after recess.

The Obama administration said over the weekend it was “deeply concerned” by Quintero's release and would “work closely” with Mexican authorities to see him face justice in the United States.

Quintero was released Friday after a Mexican court ruled that he was improperly tried in federal court for a state offense. One of his accomplices is also believed to be facing early release.

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