Judge Dismisses Case Against Accused Drug Supplier
Friday, August 28, 2009; 5:41 PM
A federal judge in the District dismissed the indictment Friday of a Chinese-born Mexican millionaire who had been accused of being a major supplier of chemicals needed to make illegal drugs.
The action is the latest twist in the criminal case against Zhenli Ye Gon, who was arrested in July 2007 and was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District on charges of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to make methamphetamine that would be sold in the United States.
The charges came several months after a raid of his Mexico City mansion, where Mexican authorities seized $207 million in cash, most of it in $100 bills. Gon, who fled Mexico before the raid, was arrested in Wheaton.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan's dismissal of the indictment comes two months after the Justice Department announced that it was seeking to drop the prosecution. At the time, federal prosecutors cited evidentiary concerns with their case and their belief that Mexico was a better place to try Gon, 46.
A hearing on a request by Mexico to extradite Gon is scheduled for next month in the District's federal court. Manuel J. Retureta, one of Gon's lawyers, said in a news release that his client "intends to vigorously contest" that process.