Texan Mistaken for El Chapo Crony Can’t Sue

     SAN ANTONIO (CN) — A Texas man with a similar name as a high-ranking Sinaloa drug cartel member who was indicted in 2012 with “El Chapo” Guzman cannot prevail on his false arrest claim, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
     Arturo Burrola Urquidi says his ordeal began when he was pulled over and mistakenly arrested by state police in December 2013 on an outstanding warrant issued by U.S. Marshals.
     Urquidi says that during what began as a routine traffic stop in West Texas, he was issued a citation for an overloaded truck and produced his insurance and license, which showed his name as “Arturo Burrola Urquidi.”
     However, the officer assumed he was “Arturo ‘Chous’ Urquidi,” a Sinaloa cartel member with ties to “El Chapo” who is still wanted by federal prosecutors for suspected drug trafficking.
     Following his arrest, Urquidi was booked into the Pecos County jail where he spent six days before his first court appearance. A federal judge gave him five days to hire a lawyer and prove his identity, but he was released the next day. Urquidi says his traffic citation was also dismissed.
     He sued the city of Pecos, its police department, Reeves County, and the officer who made the arrest, R. Crum, in 2015.
     On Tuesday, a federal judge found Crum is entitled to immunity, ruling that the officer “was not required to conduct an error-free investigation, but simply act in a reasonable manner” in good faith.
     “In this case, plaintiff was mistakenly arrested pursuant to a facially valid warrant,” U.S. District Judge David C. Guaderrama wrote. “Because the warrant was facially valid, Officer Crum is presumed to have had probable cause to arrest Arturo.”
     Texas Supreme Court precedent bars Urquidi’s remaining claims of malicious prosecution, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and false arrest, the judge ruled.
     Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel is a notorious international drug-trafficking syndicate whose purpose is to smuggle large quantities of drugs for distribution into the United States. Headed by “El Chapo,” it is considered to be one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world.
     “Murder, kidnapping, money laundering, and drug trafficking are the four corners of this organization’s foundation,” U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman said in the 2012 indictment of “El Chapo” and his co-conspirators.

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