Drug convictions overturned thanks to Saint Death

Associated Press |

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two Oklahoma residents have had their federal firearms and drug-trafficking convictions in New Mexico overturned thanks to a skeleton saint known as La Santa Muerte.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday a Santa Muerte expert tainted the convictions of 53-year-old Rafael Goxcon-Chagal and 38-year-old Maria Vianey Medina-Copete. Both were convicted in August 2012 for trafficking methamphetamine.

Authorities say a Santa Muerte prayer card was found with the couple during a traffic stop that led to their 2011 arrests.

Prosecutors used the expert during their trial to discuss the use of Santa Muerte, which translates to "Saint Death" in English, among drug traffickers.

Popular in Mexico, and sometimes linked to the illicit drug trade, Santa Muerte is folk saint also worshipped by some immigrant small business owners, gay activists and the poor.

The appeals court ordered a new trial for the couple.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
SMTNY Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd ADR n/a n/a n/a 0


Emerging Growth

IGEN Networks Corp.

iGen Networks Corp is engaged in investing in and managing for growth private high-tech companies that offer products and services in the domains of wireless broadband, software as a service,…

Private Markets


A peer-to-Peer authentic photo marketplace disrupting the $10B commercial photography industry.


Wealthfront is an automated investment service that serves as an alternative to traditional financial advisory services. The company manages a diversified, continually rebalanced portfolio of index funds on their clients’…