Zhenli Ye Gon
|Zhenli Ye Gon|
|Born||January 31, 1963 (age 50)
|Residence||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Known for||Alleged drug trafficking|
|Home town||Mexico City, Mexico|
Zhenli Ye Gon (Chinese: 葉真理; pinyin: Yè Zhēnlǐ; born January 31, 1963, Shanghai, People's Republic of China) is a Chinese-Mexican businessman accused of trafficking pseudoephedrine or ephedrine precursor chemicals into Mexico from Asia. He is the legal representative of Unimed Pharm Chem México. From 2002-2004, Unimed had been legally authorized by the Mexican government to import thousands of metric tons of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products into Mexico, as a part of its vast importation business. After this authorization ended on July 1, 2005, the Mexican government alleges that Mr. Ye Gon and certain of his employees violated its laws by continuing to import four unauthorized containers of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine precursor chemicals into Mexico in late 2005 and 2006. In July 2007, the U.S. government filed an indictment charging that these same actions were part of a conspiracy to aid and abet the importation of methamphetamine into the United States. Two years later, the U.S. case was dismissed with prejudice by The United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in August 2009.
U.S. case against Ye Gon 
In 2007, Zhenli Ye Gon was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia with a single count of conspiracy to aid and abet the manufacture of 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, knowing or intending that it would be imported into the United States. Federal agents arrested him in a Wheaton, Maryland restaurant on July 23, 2007. From the date of his arrest, Mr. Ye Gon has always maintained that he is not guilty.
Mr. Ye Gon was scheduled to go to trial on his U.S. charge in September 2009. On June 22, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss its case against Mr. Ye Gon, citing Mexico's interests as well as evidentiary concerns. At a hearing on the same day, prosecutors admitted that one of their key witnesses had recanted. His criminal defense attorneys, Manuel J. Retureta, of Retureta & Wassem, PLLC, and A. Eduardo Balarezo vigorously litigated this Brady issue before the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan. As a result of the efforts of Messrs. Retureta and Balarezo, all charges brought against Mr. Ye Gon by the government of the United States were dismissed with prejudice on August 28, 2009.
Mexico's separate pending criminal charges against Mr. Ye Gon were not dismissed, however, and the U.S. Department of Justice continued its efforts to extradite Mr. Ye Gon to Mexico to face criminal charges there. Renewed efforts to have Mr. Ye Gon released on bail following the dismissal of his U.S. criminal case proved unsuccessful, and a magistrate judge ordered that Mr. Ye Gon must remain in custody pending a decision on whether the U.S. can extradite him to Mexico to face charges there.
In March 2010, Mr. Ye Gon retained the services of lawyer Gregory S. Smith., to represent him in his extradition case before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. On February 9, 2011, Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola certified Mr. Ye Gon's extraditability to Mexico to face charges there. Mr. Ye Gon remains in the United States as he awaits a decision on his Writ of Habeas Corpus before the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
Mexican Case 
In March 2007, the Mexican government entered Mr. Ye Gon's home and seized hundreds of millions of dollars in cash. In an interview with the news agency AP, Mr. Ye Gon explained he agreed to keep the money in his home after his life, as well as those of his family, were threatened by members of Mexico's PAN party.
The Chinese citizens (Yen Yongging and Fu Huaxin) were apprehended on July 23, 2007. On December 5 United Pharm Chem had seen 19,497 kilos of a product that Mexican authorities claimed contained a controlled precursor chemical seized. Other individuals affiliated with his companies and the challenged importations were also arrested. On July 9, 2010, however, defendant Juan Llaca Diaz was declared innocent in a Mexican court, and acquitted of organized crime and drug charges. Mexico's Judiciary Council issued a statement noting that prosecutors had failed to prove key parts of their case, including that the substance seized was a psychotropic or narcotic drug.
At the time of his arrest, it was reported that Mr. Ye Gon was listed as wanted by a number of countries by Interpol. He was said to be in the U.S. as he was supposedly spotted in Las Vegas at the moment of the seizure of the cash and in New York afterwards.
Assets seized 
- 207 million U.S. dollars
- 18 million Mexican pesos
- 200,000 euros
- 113,000 Hong Kong dollars
- 11 centenarios (Mexican gold bullion coins made of 1.20565 oz t (37.5 g) of pure gold)
- A great amount of jewels, of unknown value
Confiscated along with the money were also:
- Two Mexican-style dwellings of approximately 20 million pesos
- 1 lab in construction of unknown value
- 7 vehicles
Nine persons were arrested, four of them of Asian origin.
Origins of the money 
According to the Mexican authorities, Ye Gon's money is the product of drug-trafficking activities. However Ye Gon asserts that he was forced by "Javier Alarcón", putatively identified as the Secretary of Labor, to keep it at his home, and that this money would be used during Felipe Calderón's presidential campaign in 2006. The Mexican Secretary of Labor at the time was in fact Javier Lozano Alarcón. Felipe Calderon denied connection with the money and said it was invention by Ye Gon to avoid prosecution.
In pop culture 
A poll by the daily newspaper Reforma found that most Mexicans either buy Ye Gon's story that he was framed by government officials or believe neither side. Bumper stickers reading "I believe the Chinaman" are for sale.
See also 
- "華商葉真理在美被控販毒 (Chinese Businessman Ye Zhenli Accused in the US on Drug Charges)" (in Traditional Chinese). hkheadline.com. 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- Duggan, Paul; Londoã±O, Ernesto (2007-07-25). "Not Your Average Drug Bust". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
- Carrasco, Jorge (October 29, 2008). "Mexico, the DEA, and the Case of Zhenli Ye Gon". The Washington Post.
- "A Losing Hand," The National Law Journal, July 27, 2009 http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202432522319&A_losing_hand
- The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/09/AR2011020904665.html
|url=missing title (help).[dead link]
- MILENIO.COM » Busca INTERPOL al chino de Operación Dragón en Las Lomas
- AP News on Chron.com
- La Operación Dragón pone al descubierto red de narcos y traficantes de personas - La Jornada
- ¿El policía chino..? / 11 de Febrero de 2008
- Bank of Mexico Centenario Description
- Busca Interpol en 180 países a "Midas" por decomiso millonario
- Two, Part. Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-briefs2.1aug02,1,6024945.story?coll=la-headlines-world
|url=missing title (help).[dead link]
- "Mexico accuses drug suspect of blackmail". Usatoday.Com. 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- Jorge Carrasco (October 29, 2008). "Mexico, the DEA, and the Case of Zhenli Ye Gon". The Washington Post.
- Brulliard, Karin (July 29, 2007). "In Tale of Millionaire Drug Suspect, Mexicans Judge Government Guilty". The Washington Post.