A former Carnegie Mellon University trustee accused of laundering millions for a violent Mexican drug cartel will not be released on bond, a federal judge in Texas has ruled.
Marco Delgado, 46, an El Paso lawyer who had been a CMU trustee until last year, will remain in federal custody pending trial on charges that could send him to prison for two decades.
Mr. Delgado had argued that he was no risk to flee and no danger to the community, the criteria on which federal detention is determined. But Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones ruled that he has access to millions of dollars, told an associate that he would flee to the Caribbean, has traveled all over the world and has reason to run because he is facing serious prison time.
"In short, contrary to [Delgado's] protestations, [he] has the means, the contacts, and a motive to flee," the judge said.
In specific, the judge noted that Mr. Delgado told a cooperating witness that he would flee to Turks and Caicos if he ever got arrested and has access to "substantial sums of money" in a foreign account at First Caribbean Bank in Turks and Caicos.
In addition, the judge said, $32 million was transferred into that account from a Mexican bank and is on deposit there. The judge also said Mr. Delgado has in the past received a $500,000 wire transfer in another name from a Swiss bank, demonstrating his "access to additional large sums of cash around the world."
Mr. Delgado was indicted Sept. 5 on charges of laundering drug proceeds for the Milenio cartel.
Federal agents said he led a double life, posing as a prominent El Paso energy lawyer while secretly moving money for vicious Mexican drug lords.
He earned a degree from CMU's Heinz School of Public Policy and Management in 1990 and gave the school a $250,000 gift in 2003 to establish a fellowship for Hispanic students.