Leader of Mexico’s United Cartels Extradited to U.S. to Face Charges of Importing Over 1100 Pounds of Crystal Methamphetamine

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Miami, Florida – Adalberto Fructuoso Comparan-Rodriguez, a/k/a “Fruto,” who is the former mayor of Aguililla, Mexico and, according to the allegations, a leader of the United Cartels in Michoacán, Mexico, made his initial appearance in federal court in Miami, Florida today after his extradition from Guatemala.  A South Florida grand jury returned an indictment charging Comparan-Rodriguez with drug trafficking crimes in April 2021.  

Also prosecuted for their alleged roles in the methamphetamine scheme are Alfonso Rustrian, of Mexico; Adalberto Fructose Comparan-Bedolla, (the son of Comparan-Rodriguez); Carlos Basauri-Coto; Silviano Gonzalez-Aguilar; and Salvador Valdez.  

According to the allegations, in January 2021, Comparan-Rodriguez and Rustrian met in Cali, Colombia with a person they believed to be a money launderer and drug trafficker associated with Hezbollah (“buyer”).  Rustrian explained that Comparan-Rodriguez was a leader of the United Cartels, and that they could supply hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine to the buyer, it is alleged.  They ultimately agreed that Comparan-Rodriguez and Rustrian would send 500 kilograms of methamphetamine from Mexico, through Texas, to the Miami area, according to the charges.

To make the methamphetamine undetectable, members of the organization hid it inside different materials.  On March 20, 2021, according to the allegations, a truck carrying concrete tiles filled with methamphetamine arrived in Miami.  It is alleged that Comparan-Bedolla helped crack the concrete tiles open and remove approximately 200 kilograms of methamphetamine from them.  The rest of the meth (over 300 kilograms) arrived in Miami on March 26, 2021, say the court documents.  This time, it was dissolved within five-gallon buckets of house paint.

According to the allegations, Comparan-Bedolla and two chemists (Gonzalez-Aguilar and Valdez) worked for days inside a warehouse, extracting pure crystal methamphetamine from the paint.  Law enforcement agents seized the meth before it hit the streets and made arrests.   

On March 30, 2021, Guatemalan authorities arrested Comparan-Rodriguez based upon a provisional arrest request by the United States.  The government of Guatemala ordered him extradited based upon an extradition request by the United States.  U.S. Attorney Gonzalez extends his gratitude to the government of Guatemala for its assistance, as well as the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) for its substantial assistance in securing Comparan-Rodriguez’s arrest and extradition.  Rustrian was also arrested in Guatemala in March 2021, at the request of the United States.  Rustrian was extradited to the United States in January 2022. 

DEA Miami investigated this case.  OIA, along with the DEA’s Mexico City, Guatemala City, and Bogota Country Offices; Hialeah Police Department; Hialeah Gardens Police Department; City of Miami Police Department; Aventura Police Department; Miami Beach Police Department; Miami-Dade County Police Department; and Miramar Police Department assisted in this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Frederic “Fritz” Shadley is prosecuting the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Annika Miranda is handling asset forfeiture.

This investigation and prosecution was carried out by members of the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.  The South Florida HIDTA, established in 1990, is made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who, cooperatively, target the region’s drug-trafficking and money laundering organizations.  The South Florida HIDTA is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which sponsors a variety of initiatives focused on the nation’s illicit drug trafficking threats.

Criminal complaints and indictments are charging documents that contain mere allegations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20221.

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