The daughter of the alleged Mexican drug cartel boss known as “El Mencho” was arrested in Washington while trying to see her brother, who was extradited to the U.S. last week to face drug charges, law enforcement officials told NBC News.
Jessica Oseguera Gonzalez, 33, known as “La Negra,” was arrested on the property of the federal courthouse Wednesday by DEA agents and U.S. Marshal deputies, the officials said. Her brother, Ruben Oseguera-González, known as “El Menchito,” appeared in a courtroom there for a detention hearing but it was not clear if his sister made it in to see him.
She was arrested on a warrant stemming from a Feb. 13 indictment, authorities said. Oseguera Gonzalez was charged with engaging in dealings with five businesses on a Treasury Department blacklist for allegedly providing financial support to Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the five-count indictment unsealed Thursday.
The indictment accuses her of continuing her involvement with the businesses, which include a sushi restaurant and tequila company, after the Treasury Department designated them under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act in September 2015.
Oseguera Gonzalez, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Mexico, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, according to court records.
“These charges are false, and we are certain a jury will quickly exonerate Jessica,” her lawyer, Steven McCool, said in a statement to NBC News.
The arrest comes a week after her brother arrived in the U.S. to face charges of his own. He had been fighting extradition since his 2015 arrest in Mexico.
American officials have described Ruben Oseguera-Gonzalez as a former second-in-command of the fast-growing and ultra-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
The cartel is run by the siblings’ father, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who is considered one of Mexico’s most wanted fugitives. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the man known as El Mencho, who has been charged with drug trafficking offenses in Washington and Mississippi.
Rubén Oseguera-González has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking and weapons charges. He’s accused of distributing cocaine and methamphetamine in the U.S. from 2007 to February 2017 and using a gun during his alleged trafficking activities.
At his detention hearing Wednesday, Oseguera-Gonzalez agreed to be held without bail but his attorney reserved the right to argue the matter at a future court appearance, records show.
Reached Thursday, his lawyer declined to comment.
In an interview with the Mexican newspaper El Universal, the family’s lawyer said U.S. authorities have no reason to arrest Jessica Oseguera Gonzalez.
“In the United States, the woman has no business at all,” said attorney Victor Beltran Garcia, adding that American law enforcement is trying to “fabricate a crime she has not committed.”