Mexican Doctor Arrested, Accused of Threatening President in Letters

From Associated Press

A Mexican doctor who allegedly sent extortion letters to U.S. residents threatening to kill President Clinton and former President George Bush has been arrested, the FBI said Thursday.

Hector Aguiniga Cortes of Tecate, Mexico, mailed letters to at least 30 people across the United States, threatening to kill the president and ex-president unless he was sent $3,000 by each person, FBI Special Agent Jan Caldwell said.

The recipients of the letters were told to mail the money within 10 days to a post office box in Tecate, a border town southeast of San Diego.

Cortes, 47, was arrested Wednesday night at the Tecate customs checkpoint after an eight-month investigation, and has been charged with two counts of extortion. Details of the arrest were not known.

Cortes, a native of Mexico, lived with his wife in Tecate where he ran a pharmacy store, Caldwell said. If convicted of the extortion charges, he could face a maximum jail sentence of at least 25 years. He was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.

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