Tuesday, May 17

The former head of narcotics of the National Police in Alicante advised a narco | Spain

The chief inspector of the National Police Javier Méndez and the alleged narco Juan Andrés Cabeza, in Alicante, on July 17, 2018.
The chief inspector of the National Police Javier Méndez and the alleged narco Juan Andrés Cabeza, in Alicante, on July 17, 2018.The country

Inspector Javier Méndez, who until 2018 was head of the Drug and Organized Crime Unit (Udyco) of the National Police in Alicante, allegedly acted as a “personal advisor” to a drug trafficker arrested in Operation Beautiful, which in 2019 dismantled a network drug trafficking and money laundering agency that moved 4,000 kilos of cocaine, according to a confidential report from the internal affairs unit to which EL PAÍS has had access.

The police command provoked the acquittal of the alleged drug trafficker Diego Moreno, whom he investigated in 2008 and 2012, after declaring in his favor in a case before the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office of Alicante, according to the investigations.

The inspector-drug connection emerges after analyzing dozens of calls from the trafficker between 2018 and 2019, when Méndez was head of the Central Unit for Specialized and Violent Crime (UDEV) of the National Police in Alicante.

The conversations confirm how the alleged drug trafficker, who has dragged 19 arrests since 2004, asks the police chief for advice on how to circumvent the ban on leaving Spain imposed by a court because he wants to travel to Paris. “If I catch a plane, I get on, I go and I come back, what are the chances of having a problem?”, The smuggler asked the inspector on March 22, 2019. “Okay, I’ll look at it this afternoon and then I’ll give you a touch ”Replied Méndez, who that day consulted the narco’s file in the police databases to carry out the order.

Moreno called the inspector’s personal mobile again on September 25, 2019 to confirm the arrest of the alleged leader of Operation Beautiful, Juan Andrés Cabeza. The police officer informed the trafficker of the investigations.

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A month later, when Moreno himself is arrested in Elche for his connection to this drug trafficking plot, Méndez receives a call from the police station in this Alicante city. An agent informs the inspector that the narco has appointed him as a “lawyer.” Ten minutes later, Moreno contacts Méndez to confirm his arrest. Take advantage of your right to make a call. The inspector is uncomfortable that the trafficker calls him on his personal mobile from a police station. “Damn! You’re going to get me in trouble,” he reproaches. “I’ve known you for a long time, I’ve known Juan Andrés, but … the rest of the stories that you are accused of …”, replies Méndez, who acknowledges in the talk that he maintains a “good friendship” with the two alleged members of the criminal organization.

The punctures They also show that the family of the alleged drug dealer had a direct connection with the inspector, as confirmed by a voice message that Méndez received on the day of the trafficker’s arrest. “Hello there. Good night, Javier. I am Diego Moreno Sr. and I wanted to ask you a question, if possible. Thanks. All the best”. The conversations also confirm how the command knew for years that the drug trafficker carried his brother’s ID to avoid the arrest warrant that weighed on him.

Friendly treatment inspector-narco

The close relationship between Moreno and Inspector Méndez dates back –at least– to 2010, when the police officer was head of the narcotics brigade in Alicante. The summary of Operation Almo, an investigation by the Civil Guard that resulted in the seizure of 2,000 kilos of cocaine that year, mentions Moreno as a “prominent member” of this network. And it picks up a striking communication with a telephone that matches Inspector Méndez’s personal cell phone. He asks the drug dealer to give him the details of a container loaded with cocaine and announces “that he is not going to catch anyone.”

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After tracking dozens of communications, the internal affairs investigators are surprised by the friendly treatment that the narco maintains with the police command. An official who sometimes behaved as a subordinate of his investigated. “Chief Inspector Méndez Oliva seems to have become a kind of personal advisor in charge of solving any type of legal-police problem that could arise for Moreno,” the investigations indicate.

The investigation also infers that members of the cocaine trafficking network turned to the inspector whenever things got ugly. Thus, after being arrested in Rome, Moreno called the leader of Operation Beautiful, Juan Andrés Cabeza. “Have you talked to Javi?” Asked the latter. “Yes and he has told me to be calm,” Moreno replied.

The National Police arrested Moreno for the last time in September 2019 for the crimes of drug trafficking, money laundering and illicit association.

José Manuel Alamán, attorney for Inspector Javier Méndez, denies that the command was an “advisor to drug traffickers” and presents his client as “an active police officer in the fight against drug trafficking.” He says that Méndez has received more than 200 congratulations and that he has a “flawless” track record. “If on any occasion [Méndez] he has dealt with people with a police record, it has been to gather information in his fight against drug trafficking, ”the lawyer indicated by email.

Diego Moreno’s lawyer, Joaquín de Lacy, also denies the facts. And he rejects that Inspector Méndez contributed to the acquittal of his client in a drug trafficking case in the past. “My client was acquitted because there was nothing against him. [Los investigadores] they weren’t able to provide evidence, “says De Lacy. According to this lawyer, Moreno has no connection with the network dismantled in Operation Beautiful and has credited with invoices to the investigators receiving income “of 200,000 euros per year” for his work as an advisor in marketing digital.

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The Central Court of Instruction number 4 of the National Court investigates Inspector Méndez and his wife, Carolina M., for allegedly laundering money from the leader of the Beautiful plot in a separate piece instructed by the internal affairs unit of the National Police. The investigations indicate that the command participated in the trade for the sale of cars of the brain of this organization and that, together with his wife – who has acquired 51 vehicles since 2006 – led an unusual way of life for an official with a payroll of 3,174 euros.

The summary also reveals that Méndez has held meetings and lunches – some with his partner – with drug traffickers since 2018. The inspector, who has worked at the Alicante Police Station since 1999, is suspended from employment and salary and counts down to sit on the bench.

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