DURHAM, N.C. — A lawyer who’s in the hot seat over his client’s cocaine trafficking charges says the charges are a distraction from his main issue: the lack of accountability.
Lawyers representing a Mexican national accused of trafficking drugs on behalf of a former colleague are weighing whether to go to trial, but the attorney says his clients are not at risk of being charged and his client is not under investigation.
The former attorney, Alberto Paredes, said Wednesday he’s not surprised the investigation into the case has taken so long.
Paredes is representing Jose Antonio Mendez, 24, who faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines for charges stemming from a 2012 arrest for selling and distributing cocaine in the U.S. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on drugs, which is overseeing the case, said earlier this year that Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office had not identified the people Mendez was operating from or whether they had been charged.
In a statement, Paredis said he’s confident the case is being handled fairly.
He said Mendez has cooperated with authorities in the investigation and has not been subjected to violence or intimidation.
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