Federal Agent Linked to Murderous Sect Charged in Drug Case
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Authorities say the corrupting power of drugs and a belief in witchcraft led to the downfall of a federal agent involved with a cult of ritual killers.
Salvador Vidal Garcia Alarcon, 39, was indicted Friday on drug trafficking charges. The nine-year veteran of the federal judicial police pleaded innocent in 7th Federal Criminal Court. If convicted, he faces a term of of seven to 25 years in prison.
In a lengthy statement given earlier to police, Vidal Garcia said his contact with the sect was limited to religious matters. He explained he had been possessed by spirits all his life and sought relief from their disrupting powers from the godfather of the cult, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo.
Vidal Garcia described the spirits as useful in helping the victims of black magic but said they were also potent and troublesome. He said he could only get relief from someone with magical powers greater than his own.
He said Constanzo would perform spiritual ″cleansings″ involving animal sacrifice.
Constanzo had a lucrative practice as a clairvoyant and ″cleanser″ in Mexico City. ″Cleansing″ is designed to remove a hex or evil spell and is widely practiced in Mexico.
Vidal Garcia also said he attended black masses and cult initiations.
Deputy Federal Attorney General Javier Coello Trejo said Vidal Garcia, a member of the federal drug task force, had been an ″excellent″ officer who was wounded several times in the line of duty.
His belief in witchcraft and the corrupting influence of drug money brought about his downfall, Coello said.
″We don’t believe he was responsible for any of the homicides,″ Coello said.
One cult member told authorities Vidal Garcia knew that Constanzo followers had murdered and dismembered a transvestite in Mexico City in 1988.
Another, Sara Aldrete Villareal, the sect’s alleged high priestess, said Constanzo told her he killed two men as a favor to Vidal Garcia. Their bodies were among the 15 discovered in Matamoros in April.
Vidal Garcia has been held in the Eastern Penitentiary in Mexico City since he was arrested earlier this week.
He was not charged in connection with the murders in Matamoros or Mexico City or with other crimes alleged against the sect. Authorities would not say if he will remain on the police force until his case is resolved.
The indictment accuses Vidal Garcia of stealing 4.4 pounds of cocaine from a dentist last year in Guadalajara along with Constanzo and Constanzo’s right- hand man, who posed as U.S. drug agents.
Constanzo, a 26-year-old Cuban-American, and his lieutenant died May 6 in a shootout with police in Mexico City.
Cult members told police that Vidal Garcia used his position as a federal agent to protect the smugglers. Coello insisted Vidal Garcia is the only federal agent linked to the cult.
Among the cult’s victims was Mark Kilroy, a 21-year-old University of Texas pre-med student. He was kidnapped, tortured and mutilated in what sect members say was a ceremony to invoke magical protection for the narcotics business.