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HSI assists in the arrest of drug trafficker linked to Los Zetas cartel


NEW YORK — A drug trafficker was charged and arrested in Guatemala Tuesday for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and possessing firearms in furtherance of his narcotics importation activities. This arrest comes as a result of an investigation assisted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration New York Strike Force.

Horst Walther Overdick-Mejia, 44, was arrested in Guatemala where he was detained pending extradition to the United States.

According to court documents and other information in the public record in Guatemala, Overdick-Mejia is a major Guatemalan drug trafficker currently aligned with Los Zetas, one of Mexico's most violent and increasingly powerful drug cartels. Los Zetas import cocaine through Guatemala and other countries in Central America into Mexico, and then transport it to the United States.

Since 1999, Overdick-Mejia has facilitated the importation of cocaine into Guatemala by securing airstrips in the country for planes carrying hundreds of kilograms. In 2002, Overdick-Mejia was responsible for the arrival of a 1,200-kilogram cocaine shipment at an airstrip in Guatemala, which he and his associates then transported into Mexico using hidden compartments in trucks. Overdick-Mejia then began to purchase cocaine and transported it from Guatemala to Los Zetas in Mexico.

During this investigation, Guatemalan law enforcement officers recovered videos of Overdick-Mejia with prominent members of Los Zetas in Guatemala at a "narcofiesta," a large party they hosted in Guatemala, and at a horse race. Guatemalan officers also recovered a drug ledger detailing the movement of guns, narcotics and deliveries of money to Overdick-Mejia.

Overdick-Mejia is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, knowing that the cocaine would be imported into the United States. This charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He is also charged with one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. This count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.