U.S. judge denies bail to Mexico’s drug ‘queen’
MIAMI — A US judge on Tuesday denied bail to Sandra Avila Beltran, a prominent figure in Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa cartel accused of drug trafficking.
Nicknamed the “Queen of the Pacific,” Beltran is accused of conspiring to import and distribute five kilograms of cocaine between 1999 and 2004.
Judge Patrick White denied Beltran bail pending trial, siding with federal prosecutor Cynthia Wood, who argued that she was a flight risk.
A hearing has been set for September 14 for Beltran, who is 51 years old, according to US authorities.
Tuesday marked Beltran’s second Florida court appearance after her extradition from Mexico on August 9.
Avila was arrested on September 28, 2007, south of Mexico City. Her lawyers had previously won three appeals to avoid her extradition.
She gained notoriety by smiling for the cameras, even inspiring some books and a well-known ballad.