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US Arrests Mexican Businessman on Drug Trafficking Charges


U.S. authorities say a Mexican business owner has been charged with conspiring to aid in the manufacture of methamphetamines, and allege he knew the drugs would be imported into the United States.

The Department of Justice announced the charges against Chinese-born Zhenli Ye Gon Tuesday. A statement said Ye Gon allegedly helped produce a chemical used to make methamphetamines at his pharmaceutical business in Mexico.

The statement accused Ye Gon of conspiring with methamphetamine producers to divert his chemicals to their organizations.

U.S. authorities arrested Ye Gon Monday just outside Washington, D.C. in the eastern state of Maryland. Mexican officials have requested his extradition.

In March, Mexican police raided his Mexico City mansion and found more than $205 million in U.S. currency. Mexican authorities have linked the money to a drug trafficking network.

Ye Gon has denied the accusation and says much of the money belongs to Mexico's ruling party.

Ye Gon alleges the party forced him to store it for officials under threat of death during the 2006 presidential race.

U.S. authorities also charged an alleged co-conspirator in the drug trafficking investigation Tuesday. Authorities said Michelle Wong aided Ye Gon by laundering large amounts of money from the drug proceeds.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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