San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Suspected drug traffickers with ties to Mexico's Gulf Cartel put in max security prison

Eight alleged drug traffickers – five Mexicans and three Costa Ricans – were sentenced to six months of preventative prison while prosecutors build a case against the suspects.

Prosecutors had recommended a year of preventive incarceration for the alleged drug traffickers, which include Mexican ringleader Juan Manuel García Hernández, 37.

On Sunday afternoon moved the suspects to La Reforma, a maximum-security prison in Alajuela, northwest of San José.

Ten raids on Thursday led to the arrests and the seizure of 45 kilograms of cocaine and more than $45,000.

Officials said García, known as “El Güero,” and other suspects allegedly have ties to Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, for whom they allegedly transported shipments of cocaine from Panama to Mexico.

Police followed the group for a year, and recent shipments of cocaine belonging to the Gulf Cartel were seized at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Garcia “moved throughout Central America, made the decisions and facilitated the drug shipments,” drug czar Mauricio Boraschi said. “He kept a low profile, moved quickly and spent little time in each country.”

AFP contributed to this report

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