Cartel-Connected Fugitive Extradited from Lethbridge to U.S.

Lethbridge… Javier Batista Cervantes has been extradited to the United States for his role in a cocaine importation investigation between Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), Lethbridge Regional Police Service, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Cervantes, a 35-year-old Mexican national who resided in Lethbridge, was handed over to U.S. Marshalls in Calgary on May 12 and boarded a flight to Colorado. Cervantes has been wanted by the DEA in Colorado since 2010 for drug trafficking charges.

Cervantes was indicted, along with six others, in 2010 for the importation of cocaine from Mexico.  The cocaine was brought to Colorado, where it was then later sent to Canada. Co-accused Hector Armondo Chavez was extradited from Lethbridge earlier this year on January 15.

The investigation dates back to April 30, 2010 when Calvin Wayne Skidmore of Coalhurst, Alta. was arrested at the Del Bonita Port of Entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. A search of his vehicle yielded 46 packages of cocaine, equating to 16.5 kilograms, concealed in hidden compartments.

According to the U.S. Attorney General, if convicted of conspiracy, Cervantes faces not less than 10 years, and up to life in federal prison, as well as up to a $4,000,000 fine.  If convicted of two charges of using a telephone for drug trafficking, Cervantes faces not more than 4 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine, per count.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Regional Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.