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Judge Denies Matta’s Request to Drop Charges

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday denied convicted drug kingpin Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros’ request to drop charges against him stemming from the 1985 murder of U.S. drug agent Enrique Camarena.

Matta was abducted from his Honduras home in April, 1988, by the Honduran military at the behest of U.S. law enforcement. He says that constituted “outrageous government misconduct.”

Matta claimed that he was tortured en route to the United States, a charge denied by U.S. and Honduran officials. U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie wrote that Matta’s “allegations of mistreatment, even if taken as true, do not constitute such barbarism as to warrant dismissal of the indictment.” Matta’s lawyer, Martin R. Stolar, said he was “extremely disappointed.”


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